quick baked mac and cheese with caramelized onions

So I had this whole vision of baking little lasagnas in these baby pumpkins that I bought at the farmers market. I’d invited friends over for the experiment and was very excited to bump the cute factor of my cooking up by about a million. And then my rational, forward thinking boyfriend mentioned that the adorable pumpkins that I had purchased might not actually be for eating. The doubt began to set in. I tested the pumpkin by cooking a small slice and it was indeed edible, just not that good. I was very sad. My dreams of festive cuteness were crushed.

I think Jordan may have felt a little bad and so he dug up these mini baking dishes that his mom had given us as a housewarming gift and suggested a baked macaroni and cheese instead. It was good advice. I simplified a traditional baked macaroni nixing the béchamel in favor of ricotta and a little pasta water. I added some caramelized onions, topped with gruyere and then threw it under the broiler. Quick, easy and still adorable!

Baked Mac and Cheese with Caramelized Onions
For the caramelized onions
1 onion, sliced
1 T butter
1 T oil

Saute onions over low heat for 30 – 45 minutes stirring occasionally, until deep brown in color.

For the pasta
3/4 lb dried pasta
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 cup gruyere, grated
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
salt, pepper

Start sautéing the onion. Put a pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain pasta. Combine pasta, ricotta, parmesan and pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. In a baking dish, spread the caramelized onions into a thin layer on the bottom. Spoon in cheesy pasta. Top with gruyere and breadcrumbs. Broil for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!

-Emily