Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Because it's good . . .

because it's easy, and because it uses tomatoes, basil, and spelt flour (and because I'm still learning with the camera). I'm not too proud to post mac and cheese early on -- there's plenty of time to get a bit more fancy. Anyhow, it was good and took care of some ingredients that I had plenty of. Here's the method, it's not brain surgery:

- Pasta (I used elbows, but penne is good, particularly the mini ridged penne.)
- Butter
- Flour (I used spelt. More on that later.)
- Milk (I used fat free and it worked. Despite that you won't see fat free milk around here again.)
- Shallots (Diced, but sliced would work)
- Tomatoes (Seeded and chopped, but not peeled. For the tomato snobs, or those who care, a Zapotec Pink Pleated was used here, but any juicy one would do.)
- Basil (Italian, chopped.)
- Cheese (I used Tillamook smoked cheddar. Tillamook has a special place in my heart, and it tastes good.)
- Mustard (Dijon worked)
- Salt, pepper, and cayenne
- Boil salted water and add pasta
- Sweat diced shallots in about a tablespoon of butter
- Add about two more tablespoons of butter and allow to melt
- Add one superheaping tablespoon of flour
- Stir to make a blond roux
- Whisk in the short side of two cups of milk
- Add s & p and cayenne
- Add mustard and tomatoes
- Adjust seasoning
- Grate cheese into sauce and whisk it in
- Remove sauce from heat
- Add drained pasta to sauce with basil and stir
- Enjoy

That's it. Kind of like a tomato bisque meets stove top mac and cheese, especially with the smokey cheddar. I didn't grow up with the baked stuff, so no crumbs and oven treatment here.

The spelt flour came from a food purchasing group that meets on the near-West side of Cleveland once a month. We get mostly less mainstream grains, flours, nuts, and the like, and don't get much of a say in the contents from month to month. Joining the group would have been great if I was feeding a family of vegans, or had an unhealthy appetite for wheat berries. I'm not and I don't, hence my looking for any excuse to use up my two and half tons of spelt flour. It's a year long plan, so look for more recipes utilizing some not so refined products. In the meantime, I welcome any spelt flour recipes.


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