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Caprese Mac and Cheese

July 20, 2012

One of my favorite things in summer is a good Caprese salad.  It takes advantage of all those lovely summer tomatoes and the fresh basil from my garden (well from the grocery store this time, since I didn’t get a garden planted because we moved), and fresh mozzarella which is just delicious.  But I wasn’t in the mood for straight Caprese salad, and I got the idea, when I found a pound of fresh mozz on sale at the market, to turn it into a light, summertime mac and cheese.  This is one of the few, mostly healthy meatless dishes my hubby will eat.  I say mostly healthy because it isn’t nearly as fat and calorie laden as our favorite baked ziti.  This was also my first use of Heartland’s gluten free pastas.  I have to say, I was very impressed with the flavor and texture.  Much more like a normal pasta than many gluten free alternatives.  Given I found it at my local Walmart, I say this is a victory for those of us living gluten free in small towns.  In any event, this makes 4 servings at 712 calories and 29 grams of fat.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. gluten free pasta
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 16 ounces fresh mozzarella, divided in half
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbs olive oil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Toss the tomatoes with olive oil, kosher salt, a dash of pepper, and italian seasoning.

3. Bake in a dish for approximately 15-20 minutes.

4. Cook pasta according to package directions.

5. Drain and rinse the pasta.

6. In the pasta pot, over medium low heat, add the butter, milk and cornstarch, whisking until well combined.

7. Add half of the fresh mozzarella, chopped into smaller bits for melting.

8. Stir constantly until melted and combined (you may find a whisk makes this easier).  Add more salt and pepper to taste.

9. When sauce is combined, add the pasta and stir well to coat.

10. Add the roasted tomatoes, juices and all.  Stir well to coat.

11. Add the fresh basil. Stir well.

12. Pour into a 2 quart baking dish.

13. Top with the remaining mozzarella, cut into eight slices.

14. Bake for another 10 minutes or so until mozzarella is melty.

Printable version.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2012 8:30 am

    I love just about any form of mac n cheese. I wish I liked tomatoes…. maybe I could use something else?

    • July 20, 2012 8:51 am

      You could probably use roasted mushrooms or maybe some olives…perhaps some squash. Although none of that would make it caprese (tomatoes and basil are the key ingredient there).

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