Grilled Vegetable Mac and Cheese

Vegetables:
1 summer squash
1 zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 portebella mushroom
1 vidaila onion

Mac and Cheese:
1 lb. penne, large elbows or shells
4 cups milk
16 ounces Extra Sharp Cheddar, grated (about 4 cups)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1 cup of Panko bread crumbs
8 tablespoons Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme

For the vegetables: Slice the zucchini and squash lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Stem the peppers and cut off the tops and bottom, cut into quarters lengthwise and remove seeds and veins. Clean the portebella mushroom. Peel the onion and cut into 1/2 thick slices.

Place all the vegetables into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and toss gently to coat. Add salt and pepper and toss gently.

Grill the vegetables over a charcoal or gas grill for 10 to 15 minutes turning two or three times. When the vegetables are tender and have nice slightly charred grill marks, remove from the grill.

Coarsely chop the vegetables, cover and set aside.

Use any of your favorite vegetables in this Grilled Vegetable Mac and Cheese recipe. You can also roast or sauté the veggies instead of grilling.

For the Mac and Cheese: Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cook noodles until al dente, drain, place in a large bowl and set aside.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot or saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour, a little at a time, until well blended. Continue stirring, letting it cook for a minute or two. Slowly add the milk and keep whisking for another 2-3 minutes. Add the cheese and stir with whisk or spoon until it melts and is blended into the mixture. Adjust the heat to low. Add the herbs and cook while stirring for 3 or 4 minutes. When the sauce is done, add about half of it to the pasta and mix well. Add the grilled vegetables and the other half or so of the cheese sauce and mix again.

Place the pasta/vegetables/cheese mixture in a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Top with the breadcrumbs until the top of the pasta is lightly covered. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until it is hot and bubbly.

Makes 12 servings


Cooking with Basil

Cooking with Basil

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