Sunday, May 19, 2013

Baked Vegetable Macaroni

A twist to the traditional baked mac. As I do not eat pork and beef, I decided to use vegetables as a substitute. The creamy cheese topping perfectly complements the burst of italian flavors of this dish. Enjoy!


250g Macaroni, cooked as indicated in the package
1 medium red onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium red bellpepper, chopped
1 medium green bellpepper, chopped
1 can sliced mushrooms
1 medium carrot, shredded
About 10g of basil, chopped
3 cups tomato sauce
1 pack of 250ml all purpose cream
1 bar of 200g quick-melt cheese, grated
Salt and pepper
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Garnish: Chopped parsley

1. Cook macaroni according to package instructions. Be sure to salt the water halfway through the cooking process as this will be the only time you can season the pasta.

2. Pre-heat oven 250°C.

3. Heat oil in a wok or deep pan over low heat. Add in the garlic. Sauté for about a minute and then add in the onion. When softened, increase heat between low to medium and then add the rest of the vegetables except for the chopped basil.

4. Sauté for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add in the tomato sauce, basil, (chili powder) and cooked macaroni. Season with salt and pepper and mix until macaroni is well-covered with the sauce.

5. Continue stirring for about 10 minutes or until sauce has reduced. Pour in on a square pan approximately 2 inches in height. Even out the top and set aside.

6. Meanwhile, heat a small deep pan over medium heat. Add the all purpose cream.

7. Once the cream is heated, add the cheese and mix until cheese starts to melt.

8. Using a whisk, continue mixing the cream and cheese mixture until the cheese thoroughly melts.
Mixing it continuously will prevent the cheese from burning and the cream from curdling.

9. Once melted. Pour over the macaroni and even out on all sides using a spatula.

10. Pop it in the oven for about 10 minutes.

11. Once taken out of the oven, sprinkle the top with chopped parsley. Let it set for another 8 minutes before cutting.

12. Serve and enjoy!