Casserole · Pasta · Vegetarian

Caprese Mac and Cheese

022

Let me start off by saying that I am not a tomato lover and I enjoyed this mac and cheese a lot! It was kind of like a tomato based pasta bake mixed with mac and cheese. Plus basil. So good!

This is definitely not as indulgent of a recipe as it could be. I served a portion of this with a big portion of veggies on the side (lots of broccoli, my favorite!) so I didn’t feel weighed down by a dinner of just pasta.  Give this recipe a try, it’s unique and delicious!

Caprese Mac and Cheese

Original recipe from Prevention RD

Serves: 5

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni (uncooked)
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅛ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 20-30 basil leaves, chiffonade and divided

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Bring 3-4 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add pasta, stir, and cook 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain and set aside.
  3. In the meantime, whisk together milk, vegetable broth, flour, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring sauce to a low boil over medium heat; simmer for 4-5 minutes or until sauce thickens, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and pour over hot, drained pasta, along with 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella; mix well.
  4. In the bottom of a 2 quart baking dish, spread tomato sauce on the bottom to coat completely. Add half of the macaroni mixture over the tomato sauce, top with half of the tomato slices, ⅓ of the basil, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat with macaroni, ⅓ of the basil, remaining 1 cup of mozzarella, and tomato slices, in that order.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until bubbly and just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining ⅓ basil before serving.
Pasta · Zucchini

Zucchini Basil Pasta

034

This pasta is a favorite of my family and we have it multiple times during the summer because of the abundance of squash coming out of the garden. 

There were GIGANTIC squash at the farmer’s market on Saturday and I decided to buy some to make this pasta. It never turns out as good as my mom’s does, but it was still good! I kind of made the recipe up as I went because I’ve made it enough times at home.

Zucchini Basil Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb whole wheat penne
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 large zucchini (preferably 1 yellow, 1 green)
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until soft, ~15 minutes. 
  3. Add basil and chili flakes and heat through. Add zucchini mixture to drained pasta. Add Parmesan cheese and stir until melted.
  4. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese on top. 

This is a good one, go give it a try!