Veggie Mac n Cheese
Macaroni cheese is one of those comfort food meals which when made well is hard not to love. Sticky, creamy, cheesy pasta baked until golden and crispy. Heaven, but if you make it yourself and know exactly what goes into that sublime stickiness, you would clutch your chest in anticipation for the cardiac arrest to come.
This is a dish which should be eaten with the due respect given to dishes you will only grant yourself very occasionally. As for feeding it to children as a fail safe meal… this really is the wrong flavor profile to get your kids accustomed to.
A while ago Adam told me about a pasta dish his granny used to make for them as kids. I was very intrigued as this seemed to be a ‘healthier’ alternative to Mac n Cheese, with all the sticky, creamy and cheesy notes but still full of veggies, fiber and nutritional value. A great way to disguise veggies for fussy kids as well as a comfort food meal for adults as well.
Serves 4 – 6
250g macaroni, cooked and drained
1 cup of chopped butternut, carrots and cabbage (or any other yellow, orange or white veggies)
½ an onion, chopped
¼ tsp of mild curry powder
Salt to taste
3 Tbsp of white flour
3 Tbsp of oil
300ml of milk
2 tsp of a dijon mustard
1 cup of a grated strong tasting melting cheese
½ tsp of salt
½ a cup of grated cheese
Get your pasta cooking and lightly steam the veggies putting the hardest veggies in first and the softest ones in last.
Drain the pasta and set aside until you are ready to use it. Puree the veggies with the curry powder and salt. If they are not runny enough add some water to thin the mixture. It should be the texture of a thick butternut soup.
Heat the oil and flour in a medium sized pan or pot. Allow it to fry for a few minutes while stirring the paste with a whisk. Remove it from the heat and add half the milk. Stir this with your whisk until the paste and milk have combined, then add the rest of the milk. Return this to the heat and stir it with your whisk slowly while waiting for the sauce to thicken. Take the sauce of the heat and add the mustard, cheese and salt and stir to combine.
Combine the pasta, veg puree and cheese sauce. You can serve this directly onto plates and top with the remaining cheese or place this into a casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake under the grill just before serving until the pasta has heated through and the cheese is bubbling and golden on the top.