Sunday, May 15, 2005

South Indian-Style Macaroni and Cheese

South Indian-Style Macaroni and Cheese (Adapted from BH&G)

8 ounces dry whole-wheat macaroni pasta
2 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 ounce (1/4 cup) fresh grated Asiago cheese
1 teaspoon paprika, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
8 ounces (2 cups) shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, add pasta and cook according to package directions. In a colander, add peas - drain pasta in colander with the peas and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss together bread crumbs, Asiago and 1/2 teaspoon paprika.

In a small bowl, stir together remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika, salt, garam masala, cayenne, fresh ground black pepper and turmeric.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium. Stir in garlic and ginger - cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add salt and spice - cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in milk - cook, stirring, until bubbly and slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in cheddar until melted. Stir in cooked pasta and and peas.

Scoop the mixture into a 2 quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over the top - lightly coat crumb topping with cooking spray. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly and the top is golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Makes about 4 to 6 servings.

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