Anyway, I wanted to share a recipe with you guys from the one week that I was cooking dinner. Since I'm a pasta lover, basically all of the recipes I make include pasta. Not to mention it's probably the easiest thing that you can make. But, since I'm on this healthy kick these days, I wanted to make a healthier pasta dish, maybe one that involved some vegetables. When I found this recipe for Spicy Roasted Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese, the sky parted and the sun shined down on me. It was just the recipe I was looking for. The flavor of the cheese sauce was so delicious, and the added crunch of the roasted vegetables gave the dish great depth. Both Tomas and I went back for seconds, AND ate it the next day for lunch. This was also incredibly easy to make, which means that I will making this again and again!
Spicy Roasted Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese
recipe from The Comfort of Cooking
Yield: Makes 6 servings
(My changes/notes to the recipe in red)
- 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped into small chunks
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 1 yellow squash, quartered & diced (I used 3/4 of one, large green squash instead).
- 10 baby carrots, sliced thinly (I used one medium-large carrot. I don't use baby carrots anymore after I read something disturbing about them).
- 8-10 small button mushrooms (The original recipe does not call for mushrooms, but I had them in the refrigerator, and if I didn't use them soon they would go bad, so I threw some mushrooms into the mix.
- 2 cups whole wheat pasta (We used about 3/4 of a 500g bag of regular rotini pasta).
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour (I used about 5 Tbsp. flour. I found that the sauce was too liquid-y with the suggested amount of flour).
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 cups (8 oz.) Sargento shredded sharp cheddar cheese (We don't have the Sargento brand of cheese down here, so I used a bag of shredded cheddar from whatever brand we have, in addition to a few slices of cheddar cheese, which I added shortly before taking out of the oven).
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (I'm not sure how much of each kind of pepper I really used, but I'm sure I added more than 1/2 tsp. each. We love a little kick in our meals).
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp. panko breadcrumbs (I used regular breadcrumbs and I don't believe that I measured them out either).
-Preheat oven to 400*F (about 205*C). Set a medium pot of salted water to boil. Prepare a large baking sheet by lining with aluminum foil and coating with a little olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.
-Toss broccoli, red pepper, squash and carrots onto the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until vegetables have softened. Remove from oven and set aside.
-Once water is boiling, lower heat slightly and add pasta, cooking according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
-Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, stirring constantly until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar cheese until well distributed and melted. Add red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Add macaroni and vegetables.
-Place mixture in a large casserole dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Place under the broiler in your oven (500*F/260*C) for 3-4 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. (We don't have a broiled in our oven so I placed the casserole in the oven for a few more minutes. It did not get the golden brown color that I wanted, but that didn't affect the taste!)