Thursday, October 26, 2006

Easy mac and cheese

There are a thousand different ways in which you can spice up your mac and cheese. This simple and delicious veggie mac and cheese is surely a treat at the end of a busy day.

1/2 pound elbow macaroni (any brand)
1 small onion chopped
1 cup of broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup of green peas (fresh or frozen)
3 tbsps of unsalted butter
3 tbps all purpose flour
3 cups of milk (preferably whole milk)
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of paprika
2-3 cups yellow sharp Cheddar cheese
Red pepper flakes for garnish
Salt to taste
Olive oil
1. Place a pot of water on to boil for macaroni. Once the water bubbles, add salt and the macaroni. Cook as per the package directions or till the pasta is al dente.
2. Heat a pan over medium theat. Add olive oil and saute the onion for a couple of minutes. Then add the broccoli florets and green peas and saute till cooked. Turn off heat and reserve. (Another method to cook the peas and broccoli is to add them directly to the pasta water after the pasta is almost cooked).
3. Make the roux (sauce) by melting the butter in a pan. Once the butter melts add the flour, cayenne and paprika and whisk together until the roux bubbles.
4. Then add the milk and keep stirring over medium heat until the sauce thickens. This could take around 4-5 minutes.
5. Add the cheddar cheese to the sauce and stir until it melts.
6. Add the reserved veggie mixture and the cooked pasta.
7. Garnish with red pepper flakes.
8. Serve hot

Serving size - 1 cup
Number of servings - 4

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