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Rustic Veggie Mac n’ Cheese

Rustic Veggie Mac n’ Cheese

Yum, Yum, Yum is all I have to say about this meal!  Sweet roasted vegetables and prosciutto in a light Gouda and Goat cheese sauce with pretty farfalle pasta.  Big flavor here with reduced calorie ingredients.  Let’s be real for a minute, there’s no low calorie Mac n’ Cheese that any of us would ever want to eat a second time. This is not diet, but it’s full of flavor and a bit better for you than a traditional homemade Mac n’ Cheese. So that being said, this is a great indulgence for a weekend evening.

2 zucchini squash
2 yellow squash
8 oz. baby Bella (aka. cremini) mushrooms
1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper
1 lb farfalle (bow tie) pasta
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 cup reduced calorie milk (I used 1%)
2 cups fat free chicken broth
1 Tbsp roasted garlic paste (or additional minced garlic)
3 oz prosciutto, roughly chopped into bite sized pieces
4 oz goat cheese log (not the pre-crumbled)
4 oz gouda cheese
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Give veggies a quick rinse under warm water. Ok, so this is a hot topic! I’ve read so many articles that say you shouldn’t rinse mushrooms in water. I’m not fond of eating dirt. A vegetable grown in the ground needs to be rinsed off. It doesn’t need to be scrubbed with a Brillo pad, but a quick rinse doesn’t hurt.  Allow to dry on a paper towel and chop all squash and mushrooms into 1 inch chunks.

Combine veggies in a large bowl with olive oil, garlic and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Toss to combine.  Spread on a large cookie sheet.  Your pan should be large enough that the veggies shouldn’t be touching each other.  Cook for 8-10 minutes.  Stir with a spatula when the veggies just start to look like they are cooking – a little golden looking at the edges. Cook another 8-10 minutes until the veggies are soft but not mushy. Remove from oven and set aside.

At this point, let’s get the pasta water going.  Fill a large pot with hot water.  Cover with the lid and bring to a boil over med/high heat. Add pasta to water and cook according to package instructions.  Drain the pasta and set aside in a large bowl.  If you still have a lot of work to do on the sauce, mix your pasta with a Tbsp of olive oil to keep it from sticking together.

In the meantime, let’s start working on the sauce for this delectable pasta.  I love my enamel covered cast iron pans.  (Some of our favorite anniversary gifts!  Mine for the cooking, Hubby and the boys for the eating.)  These pans take a while to heat up, but the effort is worth it.  But you can use whatever sauce pan is your favorite at home.  Melt the butter over medium heat (important that you don’t have the heat too high or you’ll burn the sauce). When butter is melted and bubbling just a little, add your flour and stir constantly. You’re making a rue – Look at you go!  Cook and stir for about 3 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling and just starts to get a golden color. Do not over cook.  Slowly stir in the milk and chicken broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly.  At this point, you can add the garlic paste, prosciutto, goat cheese and gouda cheese. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and stir constantly until the cheeses melt.

Now it all comes together!!!  Add veggies and sauce to the pasta and stir to combine.  Transfer to a large baking dish that you have greased or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.   At this point, I had to physically restrain myself.  I was ready to dig in!

But I promise it’s worth the wait!!!

Sprinkle the top of the pasta with your panko and mozzarella cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees. (This 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time to pour a glass of wine and dwell on just how amazing you are!)


This recipe can also be made with roasted spaghetti squash in the place of the pasta.  Gluten free pasta, flour and breadcrumbs can be swapped as well.

#veggies #macaroniandcheese #comfortfood

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