Mediterranean Macaroni and Cheese

Mediterranean Macaroni and Cheese
Mediterranean Macaroni and Cheese

For this dish we have combined the exotic flavors of the Mediterranean with our classic American macaroni and cheese. Olive oil, olives, pasta, tomatoes, feta and mozzarella cheeses are all staples in the Mediterranean kitchen. These robust flavors are the perfect base for the rich creaminess of mac and cheese. Herbs and spices are used liberally in preparing Mediterranean cuisine as they add aromas and flavors to foods, which reduces the need to add salt or additional fat when cooking. Our salt free Mediterranean Dry Rub will give you a hint of the flavor of the Mediterranean without increasing the amount of salt in this recipe.

Our Mediterranean Dry Rub is hand blended from garlic, thyme, oregano, black pepper, rosemary, lemon peel, oregano, basil and sage.

 

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Ingredients:
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can low sodium, diced tomatoes, drained well
  • 1/3 cup chopped, pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon Mediterranean Dry Rub
  • 8 oz tri color rotini pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups low fat milk
  • 6 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs (or make your own)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lightly brush an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with a little bit of the olive oil, set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine drained diced tomatoes, chopped olives, basil and Mediterranean Dry Rub, set aside.
  4. Prepare pasta to directions listed on package.
  5. Reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water, drain pasta and return to pot.
  6. Heat remaining olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  7. Once hot, add onion and saute until soft and lightly golden, about 3 - 4 minutes, adding in Granulated Garlic during the last minute of sauteing.
  8. Whisk in flour, and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  9. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour in milk, breaking up any lumps of flour and bring mixture just to a boil, stirring constantly.
  10. Once mixture reaches a boil reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring constantly until mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes.
  11. Remove from heat, stir in 2 oz feta cheese and mozzarella cheese then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Pour tomato mixture over drained pasta in pot and toss, then pour sauce over pasta mixture and toss to evenly coat.
  13. If the mixture seems a little dry, add a few Tablespoons of the reserved pasta water.
  14. Pour coated pasta mixture into prepared baking dish.
  15. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 4 oz crumbled feta cheese and Panko.
  16. Bake in preheated oven 20 - 25 minutes until cooked through and top is golden brown.
  17. Serve warm garnished with fresh basil.
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