Monday, April 12, 2010

#15 Mediterranean Macaroni and Cheese

Here's another one from Everyday Food.  This one was posted in this current April 2010 issue. Perfect for Meatless Monday.  It is a reader recipe, submitted by Jim Raftus.

Serves 6

coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 c unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
14.5 oz diced tomatoes, drained
1/3 c pitted kalamata olives
1/2 t dried oregano
8 oz elbow macaroni
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
8 oz feta, crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Set a large pot of salted water to boil and butter an 8-inch square baking dish.  In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, olives, and oregano.

2. Cook pasta 2 minutes less than the package instructions; drain pasta and return to pot.  Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium.  Add garlic; cook until fragrant, 1 minute.  Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.  Whisk in milk and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, whisking constantly, untiil sauce thickens., 3 minutes.  Remove from heat; wisk in 4 oz. feta.  Stir in tomato mixture.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour mixture over pasta; stir to combine.

3. Pour pasta mixture into dish and top with 4 oz feta.  Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese begins to brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

I really dislike having partial packages of leftover pasta so I increased the pasta amount to 1 lb. and added a bit more milk to compensate.  In hindsite I should have baked it in a larger pan, maybe 9 x 9 and the 8-inch pan was a bit small.