Recipe: Mediterranean Mac and Cheese

A modified version of a reader recipe that appeared in Everyday Food a few months back, this creamy Greek-inspired pasta can feed a family of four and also reheats well for 2-3 meals for couples and singles. I experimented (successfully) by adding more garlic cloves and baby spinach for even more vegetable nutritional goodness, and cut back on the calorie count with some lighter (but just as delicious) alternatives. The final change was colorful vegetable rotini in place of blah macaroni (the spirals hold more cheese!)

Mediterranean Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Med Mac & Cheese

Mediterranean Mac and Cheese

Makes 4-6 servings, done in 45 minutes or less.

Ingredients:

  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup light or regular olive oil spread (plus extra to grease baking dish)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained (14.5 oz)
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup sliced black olives or chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (keep separate)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 1 or 2% milk
  • 8 oz reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 box (12 oz) Ronzoni Garden Delight rotini (or similar vegetable pasta – coupon link at the bottom of this post!)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Set a large pot of salted water to boil and grease an 8″ baking dish or glass oven-safe bowl with olive oil spread. In a separate medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, spinach, 2 cloves of garlic, and oregano. Set aside.

2. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than it says on the box (if you’re using the Ronzoni, make it about 7 or 8 minutes). When it’s done, drain it and set it aside. In the meantime, move on to step 3.

3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 minced garlic clove and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Now add the flour and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk for 1 minute. Whisk in the 2 cups of milk and bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Sauce will start to thicken. Remove from heat and whisk in 4 ounces of the feta cheese. Stir in the tomato and spinach mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce and vegetable mixture over pasta and stir to combine.

4. Pour the pasta mixture into your oven-safe dish and top with the remaining 4 ounces of feta. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese begins to brown, 20-25 minutes.

Coupons for the Ronzoni pasta are available here!

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Categories: pasta recipes, recipes, vegetarian recipes

Author:literatrue

I'm a writer of web content and advertising copy in the interactive space. I'm kind of a geek, but I like other stuff, too. My passions and loves include cooking and food, travel, music, and reading; my husband & favorite architect Jonathan; my wonderful family and friends; and my loyal, quirky dog.

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4 Comments on “Recipe: Mediterranean Mac and Cheese”

  1. April 23, 2010 at 5:04 am #

    Love the spinach and feta!!

  2. June 21, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    Haven’t tried feta in pasta yet, except salads, but must have tasted good:)

    I’m hosting Presto Pasta Nights on my blog and this would be a great addition, if you’d be kind enough to participate!:)

    • June 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

      Sure, I’d love to participate. Just let me know what you need 🙂

  3. October 28, 2010 at 3:43 am #

    the dog foods that we use are certified organic as we do not want to use those dog foods contaminated with chemicals.-;

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