Caramelized Shallot & Pinenut Mac N Cheese Cupcakes

Yup. You heard that right.

I haven’t put anything up lately. Been busy. So, to make up for it, I give you this, the most delicious, easy, satisfying snack in the… kitchen?

CARAMELIZED SHALLOT & PINENUT MAC N CHEESE CUPCAKES

Ingredients: The noodles you want to use! I used Vegetable Radiatore (Organic Pasta) from Trader Joe’s. I like the added color and flavor. Pinenuts (Pignolias), 1 Shallot (largeish), butter (not too much), heavy cream, ricotta, the cheese you want to use! I used the Quattro Fromage from Trader Joe’s. It may not be the fanciest, but it worked for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the results! Plus, as an added bonus, it comes shredded.

Be careful with these guys… they’re dangerous. Before you know it you’ve had, well, the entire cupcake tray… or close to that.

As always, begin by gathering ingredients and preheat your oven at 375 degrees.

Once you have said ingredients, get your water going and salt. This way while your shallots and pinenuts are cooking, your water and noodles can also be goin’.

Next, melt your butter (only enough to caramelized your shallots and coat your pinenuts). Once the butter is melted and your pan is on low heat, add your pinenuts.

Next, finely chop your shallot. Make sure that you get a nice, small, dice on it. Nobody likes a mouthful of shallot… do they?

Add your shallots to your pinenuts and stir relatively frequently. Burnt shallots are nasty. Let’s not let this happen.

At this time your water is probably boiling so, gather your chosen noodles (I like to use ones that have little crevices in them so cheese can get inside them) and dump ‘em in.

Cheese sauce! In your handy-dandy sauce pan, create your sauce. This is done by slowly heating heavy cream and adding your cheese. Keep stirring! You want to keep your heat low and the cream moving. Once your cheese is completely melted turn the heat off and keep stirring. After the heat has gone down a bit, you can leave it there.

Pre-melting.

After melting. Your sauce should be creamy and silky.

Your noodle are done. Strain them and admire their pretty colors, like I did.

Retrieve a mixing bowl (something you can combine everything in) and your sprayed cupcake tin.

In this mixing bowl add your pasta and your pinenut/shallot mixture.

Then add your cheese sauce and a dollop of ricotta. This helps bind everything together and, well, it’s delicious.

Add more of the quattro fromage that you made your cheese sauce with and a bit of salt and pepper.

Mix it up!

Dish up into your cupcake tray.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes (until the tops are golden brown).

Let these suckers sit! They need to sit for ideally 10 minutes. This help solidify them and ensure that they keep their shape when you take them out of the trays.

Whelp. There ya go folks! Happy Weekend!

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