- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound cavatappi-shaped pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded provolone
- 1 pound thinly sliced deli roast beef, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
- For the salad:
- 1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
- 1 jar pepperoncini, drained and chopped
- 1 English cucumber, chopped
- 1 head romaine lettuce, core removed, leaves chopped
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring it to a boil.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the onions to the pan and top them with a lid or piece of aluminum foil for 2-3 minutes, just to get them cooking. Remove the lid or aluminum foil and continue cooking the onions until tender and lightly caramelized, 8-10 minutes. Season them with salt and freshly ground black pepper and reserve, covered with the lid or foil to keep them warm.
When the onions are almost ready, cook the cavatappi to al dente according to package directions. Once you drop the pasta into the water, place a pot over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and cook the mixture for about 1 minute. Whisk the milk into the butter-flour mixture slowly and bring up to a bubble to thicken. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the shredded cheese. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and reserve.
Once the pasta has finished cooking, drain it and return it to the pot it was cooked in. Add the cheese sauce and reserved caramelized onions to that pot and toss everything to combine.
Prepare your salad by tossing all the veggies together with the red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons EVOO, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Right before serving, stir the roast beef into the pot with the cheesy pasta and heat through for about a minute (don’t let it go too much longer as it will overcook). Portion the mac and cheese onto your serving dishes, topping each with a sprinkle of parsley and some salad alongside.