- 10 cloves garlic
- 1 large (1-pound) orange sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices on the diagonal
- 2 tbl extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 oz cavatappi pasta
- 4 tbl unsalted butter
- 4 tbl flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cup half-and-half
- 2 cup Italian Blend Shredded Cheese (Mozzarella, Parmesan & Smoked Provolone)
- 3/4 cup Asiago cheese, shredded
- 1 1/2 tbl fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs from rustic Italian bread
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes; remove cloves and place in ice water. When cloves have cooled, use a garlic press to press blanched cloves; set aside. Bring water back to a boil and add sweet potato slices and cook 5 minutes or until tender; drain.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add sweet potatoes and cook, flipping occasionally, until they develop a caramelized crust (about 5 minutes). Dice sweet potatoes. Set aside.
4. Meanwhile, bring another large saucepan of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.
5. In a large pot over low heat, melt butter. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium, add in salt and pepper, and, with a wire whisk, gradually add half-and-half. Bring to a boil while continuously stirring. Reduce heat, and then simmer 1 minute. Stir 1 3/4 cup Tillamook Italian Blend Shredded Cheese and 1/2 cup Asiago cheese until melted and smooth. Add blanched pressed garlic, diced sweet potatoes, rosemary, minced garlic, and cooked pasta. Stir to combine. Pour into greased casserole dish.
6. To make topping, combine remaining tablespoon olive oil, breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup Tillamook Italian Blend Shredded Cheese, and 1/4 cup Asiago cheese in a small mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Sprinkle on top of pasta.
7. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and topping golden brown. Serve.
Adapted from Angie Phillips, grand-prize winner at the 2008 Tillamook Macaroni & Cheese Cook-Off