Aired October 15, 2010
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound carrots, sliced 1 inch thick
1/2 pound celery root bulb, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes or 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 pound whole grain or whole wheat elbow macaroni or other small-cut pasta
4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
2 1/2 cups grated sharp yellow cheddar cheese (about 9 ounces)
1/2 cup pickled vegetables or giardiniera salad, drained and finely chopped
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt it, add the carrots and celery root or parsnips, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain then transfer to a food processor and pure.
Meanwhile, bring a second large pot of water to a boil. Salt it, add the pasta and cook 2 minutes shy of al dente. Drain and return to the pot.
While the pasta is working, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for a few minutes, then whisk in the flour. Whisk in the milk and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and Old Bay. Add in 2 cups cheddar and melt, stirring in a figure-eight motion with a wooden spoon.
Preheat the broiler. Stir the pured vegetables and cheese sauce into the pasta. Transfer to a casserole dish and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar. Broil until bubbly and brown, about 5 minutes. To serve, top with the pickled vegetables.