“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” – Wendy Mass
I recently met an old friend from school – she was the girl that had it all. Be it for good grades, perfect hair, the most stylish outfits… I was in awe of her to say the least. Not only was she impeccably perfect in everything, she was genuinely nice too!! I was awestruck. Followed by a mild depression that no matter how much I tried I will never be that girl.
This time, a good ten years later, I bumped into her on one of my travels. She looked even more beautiful (if that were even possible) and she had an adorable child at her hip with the perfect outfit and bow on her head (but of course). The mother was effortless in style, a natural mother, perfect paying job, and I was sure of it a gorgeous home that had décor straight from an Architectural Digest magazine.
But then, in conversation I recalled all those things about her that were forever overshadowed by all that I mentioned above. She came from a broken home, finance was always a problem and she was and still is the caretaker of everyone. Her personal life and emotional wars are no minor feat that she deals with everyday.
Her good heart is responsible for that beautiful glow (and of course her eye for style and most likely for great sales)! Always smiling, she takes each day with grace and a positive outlook.
But in all this, I learnt a lesson – not everyone who looks so well put together really is. We all have our own stories, obstacles and baggage. Nobody has it all. It is up to us to make the most of what we do have. I feel lucky to be where I am and who I am today. I thank God for my wonderful life, good health and an amazing family who are always there for each other.
So, back to Kitchen Therapy – this is my go-to comfort dish after meeting someone who has it all, and you’re wallowing in depression – roasted garlic and truffle macaroni and cheese. I suggest you don’t even try to count the calories here and understand that this is THE dish you need to soothe your mild jealousy, or admittance that those last 10 pounds just wont budge, or even worse, no matter how bad your boss is, you cannot quit.
This is the reality of our lives. But a little butter, cheese and truffle oil can brighten up at least an hour of your day. This dish I can assure, although sans spice, but oozing with the richness of the butter, cheese and roasted garlic envelopes you with every bit of comfort.
I serve this in small ramekins – this really helps in portion control!
Add a few drops of the truffle oil before baking and a few before serving also.
You can make the sauce ahead of time, just heat it up and loosen it up with some milk before assembling.
The roasted garlic can also be made beforehand.
Serves Serves: 5 | Prep time: 30 mins | Cooking time: 60 mins
- 3 handfuls of macaroni
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp salt
- 4 tbsp butter
- 5 tbsp white flour
- 1 tsp Olive oil
- 5 cloves of minced garlic
- 500 ml milk
- Herbs of your choice (I like to use rosemary here) (optional)
- 1 cup grated cheese (I recommend a mix of gruyere, cheddar and fontina)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Roasted Garlic:
- 1 whole garlic
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3-4 tsp truffle oil
- 1 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Rub olive oil onto the ramekins.
- Boil the pasta al dente in boiling water with a spoon of oil and salt. Drain and place in the ramekins. Drizzle 1 tsp of the truffle oil into the pasta.
- Meanwhile, cut the whole garlic from the top by one third, exposing the tops of each clove.
- Drizzle with a spoon of olive oil and salt and pepper, and rosemary.
- Wrap the whole garlic in foil and bake for around 35 minutes in a preheated oven at 200°C, or until the garlic has softened and sweetened.
- Heat a saucepan and add in the butter, olive oil and minced garlic.
- While the garlic fries, blend the flour and milk together in a bowl.
- Once the garlic becomes fragrant stir in the milk mixture and use a whisk to remove any lumps if required.
- Add in the half of the cheese, salt, pepper and herbs.
- The sauce should combine well and thicken. Keep on the stove until desired thickness.
- Pour the sauce into the ramekins and mix to evenly coat the pasta.
- Remove the garlic from the foil. The cloves must be softened.
- Squeeze the garlic out from its skin and put 4-5 cloves into each ramekin.
- Add a thick layer of the remaining grated cheese on top.
- Sprinkle some bread crumbs on top.
- Bake at 200°C for around 25-30 minutes.
- Once the cheeses have melted well and bubbling, remove from the oven.
- Drizzle some truffle oil on top before serving.