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9 Recipes for Mac 'n' Cheese Lovers

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RECIPE

Aired February 19, 2014

Macaroni and Cheese Primavera

serves 6

INGREDIENTS
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    5 to 6 baby carrots, tops trimmed, peeled and very thinly sliced on an angle
    5 to 6 baby zucchini or a few baby zucchini and patty pan squash, thinly sliced
    2 to 3 baby fennel, tops trimmed and bulbs halved lengthwise then very thinly sliced
    3 to 4 green Vidalia onions, fat spring onions or 2 leeks, whites and light greens halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
    A fat handful snap peas, thinly sliced on an angle, shelled fresh peas or defrosted peas
    1/4 cup garlic scapes, chopped or 2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    Salt and pepper
    1 wedge of lemon
    1/4 cup tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped

     

    For the Cheese Sauce and Mac:
    4 tablespoons butter
    4 tablespoons flour
    1 cup chicken stock
    2 cups warm milk
    Salt and pepper
    Freshly grated nutmeg
    2 cups grated Fontina Val d’Aosta or Gruyère cheese
    1 cup grated Asiago cheese
    Salt
    1 pound macaroni with lines, such as cavatappi (hollow, corkscrew pasta) or penne rigate
    1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Heat large skillet with olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat.  Add vegetables and scapes or garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté to tender-crisp, 5 minutes or so.  Turn off heat, douse with lemon juice and add tarragon.

In a medium, high-sided skillet or pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk 1 minute; whisk in chicken stock and thicken 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in warm milk and season sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Thicken to lightly coat the back of a spoon. Stir in Fontina or Gruyère and Asiago in a figure-8 motion, a handful at a time, using a wooden spoon. 

Undercook pasta by 2-3 minutes in salted boiling water, 6-7 minutes depending on package directions. Drain the pasta and add back to pot with cheese sauce and vegetables. Stir to combine and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to casserole and cover with Parm. Bake to brown and bubbly, 20-25 minutes.

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9 Recipes for Mac 'n' Cheese Lovers

1 / 9

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