Holiday, Italian, Lunch, Dinner and Entrees

Humble Mac n Cheese tweaked for the Holidays

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Mac n Cheese is a comfort food essentially combining pasta and cheese sauce. It is easy food for toddlers and has been a staple go-to food because of its simplicity and neutral appeal. But the pasta is all white carbs and does not add much nutrition. By picking a wholegrain pasta and making the cheese sauce with wholesome ingredients, we can elevate the mundane mac n cheese to something that can be enjoyed equally by everyone. This can easily be served as a side dish or main course for a Holiday celebration.

Whole wheat elbow pasta is selected for this recipe. The cheese sauce is basic White sauce enhanced with creamy goat cheese. There are 2 secret ingredients which adds a tangy taste profile to this dish – pasta sauce and cream cheese. Both of these ingredients are added in small quantities where they remain the ‘secret’ yet provide a surprise addition to the palate. Guests will be wondering about the unique tangy flavor in the mac n cheese long after dinner is done! Simple flavor enhancers such as garlic and rosemary provide mild flavor without overpowering the dish. Optionally add a liberal squirt of sriracha for some heat…. totally your choice !

Add a grilled vegetable and a simple salad to complete an Italian dinner.

Suggested Choices – grilled asparagus and cherry tomato salad.

Mac n Cheese recipe

Ingredients –

  • Whole Wheat Elbow pasta 16 oz
  • Goat cheese 4 oz
  • Whipped cream cheese 2 tbsps
  • Pasta tomato sauce 2 tbsps
  • Milk 1 cup
  • Flavor enhancers – garlic pods (4), rosemary sprigs (2)
  • For the White sauce – 2 tbsps butter, 1 tbsp flour, 1 cup milk
  • Sriracha sauce (optional)
  • Chopped parsley for garnish
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Procedure –

  1. Cook the pasta as per package instructions, drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a saucepan on medium heat, add 2 tbsps of butter.
  3. Add chopped garlic and rosemary and let its perfume infuse the butter.
  4. Add the flour and fry lightly, then reduce flame completely and add the milk while stirring.
  5. As the milk thickens, add the goat cheese, cream cheese and pasta sauce. Mixture until the cheeses are fully mixed in.
  6. Now add the pasta, season with salt and mix to coat pasta completely.
  7. Add 1 cup of milk and mix well to creamy texture.
  8. Garnish with chopped parsley and sprinkle parmesan cheese.

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