Stealth Mac and Cheese

This is “Eat your Veggies” Mac and Cheese. Carrot puree is blended with Cheddar and Parmesan cheese sauce for the familiar orange mac and cheese color. Use Whole Grain, Barilla Protein+™ or Veggie elbows for added nutritional benefit and parent appeal.

4 lb. Barilla Veggie, Protein+®, or Whole Grain Elbows
2 cups yukon gold potatoes, diced
2 cups onions, diced
4 cups butternut squash, diced
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups milk
4 tsp. lemon juice
2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and white pepper, to taste
  1. Cook the Barilla pasta for half the time indicated on the package. Drain pasta and drizzle with some olive oil to prevent from sticking. Place pasta flat on sheet trays or hotel pans and cool in a blast chiller. Alternatively, cool it down in a walk-in cooler. Store in zip lock bags or sealed plastic container; refrigerate and use within several hours.
  2. Combine the vegetables in a pot with water to cover. Bring them to a simmer and cook, covered, until the vegetables are fork tender. Drain and reserve the water. Return the vegetables to the pot.
  3. Add the milk and 4 1/2 cups reserved cooking water. Puree the vegetables with an immersion blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cool and refrigerate.

For each serving, to order: Reheat about 1 1/4 cups pasta in simmering water. Drain and add to a saute pan with some of the vegetable puree, about 2 1/2 tablespoons cheddar and 1 1/2 tablespoons parmesan. Toss to coat, then pour the pasta into a small bowl. Garnish with more Parmesan.