This recipe is a great way to use up all those delicious end of summer beefsteak tomatoes.  The sweet juicy tomatoes are the perfect vessel to stuff with this classic comfort food .  It’s my experience that you must use an aged cheddar when making mac and cheese, otherwise the flavour just doesn’t show up. This version gets some unexpected flavour from  smoked aged cheddar and bright green onions.  Depending on how large your tomatoes are (this recipe is best with ones slightly larger than a hardball) you may have some leftover mac and cheese – but that’s never a bad thing.

Makes 6

6 Beefsteak tomatoes

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups elbow pasta

1 shallot, diced finely

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp flour

1 1/4 cups milk

1 cup shredded smoked cheddar

3 green onions thinly sliced

1 tsp hot sauce

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 375F

  1. Use a sharp pairing knife to cut a thin slice off the bottom of each tomato so they sit evenly on your work surface. Then cut a deep well into the top of each tomato, being sure not to cut through the bottom or walls of the tomato.  Gently scoop the insides of each tomato out with a spoon (a grapefruit spoon works really well for this).

  2. Season each tomato cavity with salt and place into a large baking dish. Transfer the dish into the oven and par-cook the tomatoes for 12min.

  3. Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

  4. Place a medium pot over medium heat and add shallot and butter.  Cook until the butter has melted and shallot is soft.

  5. Stir in flour and cook, stirring continuously for 2min.

  6. Slowly whisk in about 1/4 cup of the milk until you have a smooth paste.  Then slowly stream in the remainder of the milk while whisking. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture begins to thicken.

  7. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and green onions and hot sauce.  Stir until all the cheese has melted into the white sauce and remove from heat.

  8. Mix the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce.

  9. Mix together the bread crumbs and butter.

  10. Liberally stuff each tomato with the macaroni and cheese and top with bread crumbs.  Return to the oven for another 12-15min.

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