‘Cause I’m nice like that. 😉
From Sunset Magazine, March 2006 – Spring Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese
1 bunch of asparagus
4-1/2 Tbl. butter
1-1/2 tsp salt
12 ounces dried orecchiette pasta
3/4 C frozen peas (or fresh in season)
2 slices sourdough bread
3 Tbl flour
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
3 C milk
2 tsp grated lemon peel
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
6 ounces fresh chevre (goat cheese–soft)
1-1/2 C shredded romano cheese
Cut the tough ends off the asparagus and cut the spears into 1/2 inch pieces. Cut the root ends and tough green tops off the leeks, slice in half lengthwise and rinse well under running water, then slice thin crosswise.
In a medium pan over medium head, melt 1 Tbl butter and add leeks and asparagus. Cook for about 7 mins, until getting tender. Remove from pan and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the peas.
Boil water and cook pasta according to directions. While cooking, tear the bread into chunks and process in a food processor with 1/2 Tbl butter until crumbs form. Spread out on a cookie sheet and add 1/2 C of Romano cheese. When pasta is done, drain and add it to the veggies in the mixing bowl, stir to combine
In the medium pan over medium head, melt the remaining 3 Tbl of butter. Add the flour and thyme, stir until smooth and bubbly, and getting brown, 30 seconds to 2 mins, depending. Slowly whisk in the milk and stir until just boiling. Let thicken, approx 5 to 8 minutes. Add lemon peel, mustard, pepper and 1 tsp salt. When well mixed, remove from heat and add the chevre and 1 C of Romano cheese. Stir to melt and mix well.
Pour the sauce over the veggies and pasta, mix well to coat everything, then pour into a baking dish and cover with the crumb/cheese mixture. Bake in a 400-degree oven until browned and bubbly, approx. 20 minutes.
Decadent but SO worth it!!