Monday night we had Ratatouille with orzo and last night it was this new mac and cheese with a green salad dressed with nectarines.  I had fully intended to barbecue some sausage but Brock was late and it was either the girl’s music homework or meat, so vegetarian it was – and it was good!  I found this recipe in Everyday Food, and I’m looking forward to our leftovers this evening (maybe with some sausage) – you’ll have to imagine what it looks like since I completely forgot about a picture.

Mediterranean Mac and Cheese

8 oz. brown rice macaroni (I weighed it but it’s a good 2 cups) – OR – try a 454 g box of Barilla macaroni and make a bit more of the sauce (I did still 1 can of tomatoes, but 3 c. milk, 1 1/2 c. feta, more olives and garlic)

1 can (19 oz/540 mL) diced tomatoes, drained

1/2 c. pitted kalamata olives, chopped

1/2 t. EACH dried oregano AND freshly ground pepper

1/4 c. butter

4 cloves of garlic, finely minced

1/4 c. flour

2 c. milk, warmed

1 c. feta, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 400 and grease a casserole dish.  Cook the pasta until it’s just tender and get everything else going while it’s boiling.

In a small bowl, stir together the drained tomatoes, olives, oregano and pepper and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the garlic, letting it sizzle while you stir for about a minute.  Add the flour and continue to stir until all is well blended – you’ll end up with a paste.  Grab a whisk and whisk continuously as you slowly add the milk.  Keep whisking until the mixture comes to a boil, then reduce the heat a bit and whisk until it’s smooth and thickened, this could take a few minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in about 2/3’s of the feta, then stir in the tomato mixture.  Combine everything with the drained pasta, turn it into your casserole and bake for about 25 minutes – keep in mind that you could also enjoy it straight out of the skillet if you’re in a hurry!

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