Lemon and Herb Mac & Cheese
Here’s a new twist on an old favorite. Creamy macaroni and cheese gets a flavor boost from lemon zest and fresh herbs for an upscale taste sensation. Add green peas and it’s a nutritious main course. Any leftovers make a great lunchtime treat for school or office.
- 8 ounces macaroni
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 3/4 cups whole milk
- 2 medium lemons zested
- 2 sprigs rosemary minced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter plus extra for buttering a casserole dish
- 1/4 cup pastry flour
- 1 cup Gruyère cheese grated
- 1 cup sharp cheddar grated
- 1/2 cup Parmesan grated
- 1/2 cup cooked peas
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt, and cook the pasta until al dente – not too soft.
- Drain and rinse with cold water. Add the remaining olive oil and toss to coat. Set aside for the moment
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Use a little butter to grease a large casserole dish.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over a medium setting. Allow the butter to cook for about 30 seconds, but not brown. Add the flour, whisking constantly, and allow it to cook for about a minute. Again, avoid browning it, and adjust heat if necessary.
- Add about a half a cup of the milk, stirring constantly, till it thickens. Be sure to scrape from the bottom and sides as you continue to stir.
- When the sauce is evenly mixed, add the rest of the milk slowly as you stir.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until it is bubbling and thick.
- Turn the heat to medium low, and add about two-thirds of all three cheeses, stirring until melted.
- Add the rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, and lemon zest.
- Now, add the macaroni and peas, and stir to coat evenly.
- Pour the macaroni into the prepared casserole dish.
- Top with remaining cheeses.
- Bake in the oven 30 to 35 minutes. The casserole should be golden brown on top.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!