RECIPE: 3 Cheese and Carrot Macaroni Bake
It was "Girl's Night" Saturday night, and we were alone.
The hubby was golfing and not to be home.
We watched movies, played games in our PJs all day,
with no complaining or rules to get in our way.
But then 5:00 came, and dinner was near,
and as typical girls, wanted no calories to fear.
But craving delicious, comfort food, too.
I looked to the web, I knew just what to do!
A healthy mac & cheese, with veggie and grain,
mixed with low fat cheese, staying on the "light" train.
My daughter had seconds, we ate it with glee-
as we watched The Secret World of Arietty!
We went to our bed without much of a fight,
and gave each other the sweetest kisses goodnight!
Thank you, Epicurious, for inspiring this rhyme,
I added and adapted to make it more mine.
SO is this:
3 cups whole wheat noodles
2 cups grated carrot
3/4 light sour cream
1 Tbsp. ketchup
3/4 tsp. good dry mustard
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. Kosher salt
3 cups shredded mild Cheddar, 1/2 cup reserved for the top
3 oz. light Cream Cheese
1/8 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 stick butter
1/2 Tbsp. Smoked Paprika
Preheat oven to 400˚. In a large stock pot, boil well salted water. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions. The last three minutes, add the carrots to the pasta. This will blanche the carrots and make them sweet and tender for the casserole. Drain well. While the pasta was cooking, I whisked the sour cream with the eggs, ketchup, dry mustard, pepper and salt. Set that aside.
While the drained pasta is still hot, dump back into the pot and mix with the 2 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese, Cream Cheese and butter until melted and well combined.
Fold the sour cream mixture into the pasta. Pour into an 8" oval casserole dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Top with the remaining Cheddar, grated Parmesan and the smoked Paprika.
Bake on a rack in the upper third of the oven until golden brown and bubbly, about 25-30 min. Serve warm.
some notes: The smoked Paprika adds a bacon nuance without the calories. Feel free to up it a little and mix a bit more into the sour cream mixture to kick it up. It adds a rich undertone. You can use some chopped, crispy bacon too. But it is not as healthy...but who are we kidding? It is macaroni and cheese.