This is “Eat your Veggies” Mac and Cheese. The carrot puree is blended with cheddar and Parmesan cheese sauce for the familiar orange mac and cheese color. Use Whole Grain, PLUS or Veggie elbows for added nutritional benefit and parent appeal.
4 lb. Barilla Veggie, PLUS, or Whole Grain Elbows
2 c. diced Yukon Gold potatoes
2 c. diced onions
4 c. diced butternut squash
2 c. diced carrots
2 c. milk
4 tsp. lemon juice
4 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
Salt and white pepper
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.
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.
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 Tbsp. Cheddar and 1 1/2 Tbsp. Parmesan. Toss to coat, then pour the pasta into a small bowl. Garnish with more Parmesan.