Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Mac & Cheese

For several years I have recorded the meals I prepare in my planner/organizer/journal. I am certainly not 100% with my journal entries and I'm not sure why I even started this practice. And I am surely much less diligent since I starting photographing my food and blogging.

Sometimes, when I can't decide what I want to cook, much less eat, and Pritchard Parker says, "I don't care, anything you make will be fine", I refer back to the same time last year or the year before. Spring can be extra tricky for meal planning (not to mention deciding what to wear). This morning it was 31 degrees, yet it is supposed to get up to 80 this afternoon.

I first saw this recipe by Chef Martha Beakes of Mountain Magnolia Inn in Hot Springs, North Carolina in the April 2008 issue of a local news magazine. I made it a few times then promptly forgot about it. I was reminded by looking back in my journal. The Chef recommends serving it with Heinz Ketchup but I don't know about that!

Roasted Vegetable Mac & Cheese
1 lb. penne, rigatoni, or spiral pasta
1 red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 small eggplant, diced
1 zucchini, diced
4 cups shredded cheese (any combination)
1/4 cup butter
4 cups milk
3 Tbsp. flour
Bread crumbs
Olive oil
Fresh thyme
Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Hot sauce, to taste

Toss vegetables in olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Roast, on a sheet pan, at 400 degrees, until lightly brown, about 35 to 40 minutes.

While veggies are roasting, cook pasta until al dente, drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a large pan, add flour and stir until smooth, but not brown. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to just under a boil. Reserve about 1/2 cup of cheese for topping, and add the remainder to the milk mixture. Stir until cheese is melted. Stir in roasted vegetables, then the pasta, mix well but gently. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste.

Pour into greased casserole dish, top with bread crumbs and reserved cheese, and bake at 400 degrees, until bubbly and golden brown, about 25 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds absolutely wonderful. Kind of like a grown up mac and cheese even though I think my kids would eat it as well. This will go in my file of recipes to try out. Thank you!