**This is not a gluten-free recipe and was posted before I eliminated gluten from my diet. Use brown rice pasta and a gluten-free flour for substitutes.**
Apparently I've been craving pasta and cheese dishes. I made mac and cheese with tofu a couple of weeks ago, and then loved the sound of this recipe when flipping through the cookbook of the month.
Roasted veggie and cheese pasta (adapted from "The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook")
1 small eggplant, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 oz button mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup whole white wheat flour
1 1/3 cups milk
3/4 cup shredded provolone
salt and pepper to taste
6 oz. whole wheat pasta (any small shape), cooked according to package directions
2 Tbsp shredded parmesan
pinch of paprika
Combine all veggies (eggplant through garlic) and olive oil and spread out in a large baking pan. Roast at 450 for 20 min, stirring occasionally. While veggies cook, add flour to a small saucepan. Slowly whisk in milk, and then cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until milk thickens (about 8 min). Add provolone, salt, and pepper, and continue to cook until cheese is completely melted (1-2 more minutes). Combine pasta, cheese sauce, and veggies in a large bowl and pour mixture back into baking pan. Sprinkle parmesan and paprika on top and bake at 375 for 20 min. Serves 5.
This was amazing. I liked the mac and cheese with tofu, but this recipe was definitely more similar to authentic mac and cheese. It still wasn't too heavy, though, because the veggies diluted the intense cheesiness and gave it a fabulous flavor. During the past year I have completely fallen in love with roasted veggies of any sort, and this was a perfect use for them.
Most of the recipes that I make are fairly simple (including this one), but for some reason making a béchamel sauce (or a knock-off without butter) makes me feel like I'm really doing something complicated... in a good way. I'm pretty sure that I could teach a 2 year old to stir together flour and milk, but I suppose that it's because this sauce is the basis of many extremely complicated dishes. It's nice to be able to make something easy but feel like you've really accomplished something :).