Boost the flavour of a family favourite!
In my home, nothing says comfort food better than homemade macaroni and cheese. It is our favourite Meatless Monday meal! I had a surplus of fresh produce from the Farmers’ Market this week so decided to add some roasted vegetables to this week’s edition of mac ‘n cheese and it was a big hit. Next time I think I’ll try adding in a few more vegetables – roasted squash or cauliflower would be really great flavour boosters, I think.
- 1 cup (250 mL) small mushrooms, halved
- 1 cup (250 mL) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup (250 mL) chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
- 2 cups (500 mL) small pasta (macaroni or shells are great)
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) butter
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (500 mL) milk
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) smoked or regular paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups (500 mL) grated extra old white cheddar
- 1 cup (250 mL) fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) butter, melted
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Put mushrooms, tomatoes and onions in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss gently to coat. Spread vegetables out on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes.
- While vegetables are roasting, make cheese sauce: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat; stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Gradually whisk in milk, paprika and a dash of salt & pepper.
- Simmer, stirring often, for 4 minutes, until smooth and thickened. Stir in the grated cheese until blended. Let simmer on low for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While cheese sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta. Cook until just tender then drain and add to a 2 quart (1.9 L) oven-safe dish.
- Prepare topping in a small bowl by combining breadcrumbs, garlic powder and and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Set aside.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked noodles in the baking dish. Sprinkle roasted vegetables on top, followed by chopped basil and breadcrumb topping.
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until the breadcrumbs are browned & cheese sauce is bubbly.