There was lots of zucchini in my local store and I had to come up with ways of including it in our meals. This pasta was delicious. Even my son who ‘claims’ he doesn’t eat cooked tomatoes ate it without a flinch. It should be served either hot or warm.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Tomatoes and Zucchini
Preparation time: 20 minutes; Baking time: 25-30 minutes; Serves: 4-6
- 450g (1 Ib) elbow macaroni
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil to toss the macaroni and vegetable slices
- 60g (4 tbsps, 2oz, ½ stick) butter or margarine
- 1 chicken or beef bouillon cube
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or paprika if you want it mild)
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 225g (8oz) good melting cheese, grated-for the sauce (I used provolone and mozzarella)
- 2 firm Italian tomatoes halved lengthways and thinly sliced
- 1 zucchini halved lengthways and thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 100g (3.5oz) grated, mozzarella cheese for topping
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC) ten minutes before using. Liberally brush a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish with olive oil. I used a 10½ x 10½ x 3¼ inch (26.7 x 26.7 x 8 cm) fancy one.
- Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water as per packet instructions for ¾ of the maximum time stated. Drain and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add the bouillon cube, cayenne pepper and mustard, and cook for 1 minute stirring until the cube is crumbled and mixed with the butter.
- Stir in the flour and cook over low heat for one minute, stirring from time to time (do not burn it).
- Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add 1 cup milk whisking constantly until free of lumps. Return to the heat, add the rest of the milk and bring to the boil stirring. Simmer under low heat for 3 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the roux is thickened and smooth (do not burn it).
- Remove from the heat and add the cheese in three batches. Stir until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Add the drained macaroni to the sauce and mix to combine, then pour into the prepared oven dish.
- Toss the tomato and zucchini slices in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the tomato slices, alternately with the zucchini on top of the pasta. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and bake 20-25 minutes until golden and bubbly on top. Serve immediately.
Step By Step Photos
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add the bouillon cube, cayenne pepper and mustard, and cook for 1 minute stirring until the cube is crumbled and mixed with the butter. Stir in the flour and cook over low heat for one minute, stirring from time to time (do not burn it).
Gradually stir in the milk and stir until smooth. Simmer for 3 minutes then remove from the heat. Stir in the cheese until smooth then add the drained pasta and stir to combine.
Toss the tomato and zucchini slices in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the tomato slices, alternately with the zucchini on top of the pasta. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and bake 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbly on top.
I am going to make this, Thanks for the idea and recipe.
It’s really good. I promise!