Four-Cheese Whole Wheat Macaroni with Leeks

January 16, 2008

adapted from Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen, a how-to recipe book for creating an affordable, easy-to-use organic kitchen. Using wholegrain pasta makes this dish a healthier choice.

Serves 6

Coarse salt
2 c. uncooked whole wheat elbow macaroni
5 Tbls. extra-virgin olive oil
2 thinly sliced lg. leeks, white and light green parts only
3 Tbls. whole wheat flour
3 c. whole milk
1 Tbls white balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. paprika
pinch cayenne
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 c. grated pepper jack cheese
1/2 c. grated fresh mozzarella
1/2 c. grated fresh parmesan
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbls. chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 375 and lightly grease a shallow 2 quart baking pan.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 2 teaspoons salt. When water returns to a boil, stir in pasta and cool until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add leeks and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute for 5-7 minutes, until leeks are lightly browned. Remove from heat, set aside.

Warm remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and whisk in flour. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, whisking constantly until flour is darker shade of brown.

Raise heat to medium, add milk and bring to simmer, whisking constantly. Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking, until thickened.

Reduce heat to low, add vinegar, paprika, cayenne, 1/2 cup cheddar, 1/2 cup jack, 1/4 cup mozzarella, and parmesan. Stir until smooth. Season with black pepper to taste.

Add leeks and macaroni to white sauce, gently stir well and pour into baking dish.

Sprinkle with remaining cheddar, mozzarella, and jack over top and garnish with rosemary.

Bake 35-40 minutes until lightly browned on top.

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