Spring Vegetable Macaroni n Cheese

Spring Veggie Mac N Cheese

Want to dive into a delectable vat of Springtime veggies, and don’t mind getting a little gooey on the way out – well, you’ve come to the right place!

I cannot get enough of leeks and asparagus this time of year, and this is the perfect dish to highlight these lovely greens.

Sharp, salty Romano is a great pairing for luscious, creamy, and tart goat cheese.  I always sleep on Romano, but it really is a great switch from Parmesan.

Orecchiette was nowhere to be found in my grocery store, so I went for Pipette, which I loved because some of the peas hid out in them and made for a fun little pop when bitten into.

Its only downfall is that it requires Sourdough to make the bread crumbs, which I’m then forced to eat for the rest of the week, Oh, the humanity!  (I live for Sourdough!)

Scrumptious, fresh, and fabulous, once you make this, I’m sure it’ll become a Springtime staple.

Spring Veg Mac N Cheese

Spring Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

1 bunch (about 12 oz.) asparagus

2 leeks

4 1/2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

12 ounces dried orecchiette pasta

3/4 cup frozen petite peas

2 slices sourdough bread

3 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

3 1/2 cups whole milk

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper

6 ounces fresh goat cheese

1 1/2 cups shredded Romano cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Snap tough ends off asparagus; cut spears into 1/2-inch pieces. Cut root ends and tough green tops from leeks; cut leeks in half lengthwise and rinse well under running water, then thinly slice crosswise.

In a medium pan over medium-high heat, stir the asparagus with the leeks, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until the asparagus is just tender, about 7 minutes, then remove from pan and set aside.

In a large pan over high heat, bring about 3 quarts water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions; stir in peas at the end. Drain and return to pan.

Meanwhile, tear bread into chunks and put in a food processor with 1/2 tablespoon butter. Whirl until crumbs form.

In the medium pan over medium-high heat, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add the flour and thyme; stir until smooth and bubbling, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in milk and stir until boiling and thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add lemon peel, mustard, pepper, and remaining teaspoon salt. Remove from heat and add goat cheese and 1 cup Romano; stir until smooth.

Pour sauce over drained pasta and peas. Add asparagus mixture and stir well. Scrape mixture into a 2 1/2-quart baking dish and spread level. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup Romano and the bread crumbs. Bake until sauce is bubbling and bread crumbs are browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Spring Veggie MacNCheese

From Sunset Magazine.

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3 thoughts on “Spring Vegetable Macaroni n Cheese

  1. I just made this last night and it was UH-MAH-ZINGGG! I wasn’t sure about the lemon but I did it anyway and was so glad. It really brightens up the dish. Total hit, great job!

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