Sunday, 3 August 2008

Garden Mac & Cheese



I tend to think that the splatter index is the most useful measure of a cookbook. You can tell at a glance which books get properly used by the greasy fingermarks, oil splashes and fruit stains on the most opened pages. For me, hands down the most successful cookbook in the collection is the Australian Women's Weekly Italian Cooking Class. One oil-spattered page has both spinach with spirali and puttanesca - 2 dishes that arguably did more to nourish my teenage self than any others.

Making Heather's Garden Mac I was hit with a wave of nostalgia - the mid point of the dish when I had the pasta, spinach, leek and gammon in the pyrex dish reminded me so much of the spinach with spirali. Fancier pasta of course, but the same soothing pink, cream and green colours and the same indescribable smell of spinach and hot pasta. It was almost a shame to add the roasted tomato bechamel.

Glad I did though. She's onto something with that roasted tomato bechamel. I added half a dozen fat cloves of garlic to my roasting pan, so when I was squidging the tomatoes and deglazed juices into the bechamel they disappeared and were just evident as fleeting bursts of flavour. Can't wait to see what it'll do to a lasagne.

7 comments:

The Cat's Mother said...

I think spinach with spirali is one of the most under-rated dishes.

The Garden Mac & cheese looks like a good Sunday supper dish.

Heather said...

I'm glad you liked that sauce, luv. I'm going with a pot pie for its next application, but I'm looking forward to your lasagna.

Foodycat said...

Well yes - I think most of the bowls of spinach with spirali were shared with you! Do try the mac & cheese - the veg cuts through the cheesiness for added virtue. And I had a couple of gammon steaks left over from the worst fry-up I've ever done, but it would have been as good with no meat.

Heather - you've got to try it with the garlic cloves! Looking forward to stalking your potpie.

HH said...

Oh that tomoato Bechamel sounds amazing!! I will definately have to give it a go!

Brittany said...

I am so glad you made this- Heather's pictures had me drooling. TOTAL comfort food!

Sarah said...

I love this recipe! When I make mac 'n cheese, I suffer from a little starch guilt (a little, I said, not a lot :) Adding these lovely veggies would boost my sense of virtue!

Foodycat said...

Atkins did such a number on us! Starch guilt? WTF? But the extra veg are a Good Thing in this!

My other favourite mac & cheese is blue cheese sauce, lots of bacon and caramelised onions, but I haven't made it in about 10 years because it is so decadent!

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