I love tossing a bunch of fresh Cardo’s greens into my pasta dishes. Pastas are quick and easy, but the simple addition of sauteed greens and onions jazzes them up to a whole new level.
Homemade mac’n’ cheese is also a snap - both the vegan and the traditional version. Try it out yourself and fall in love with all the ways you can highlight your CSA veggies or use up the last few odds and ends before pickup. Use an entire bunch of one, or mix and match for your ideal flavor. I’m a BIG fan of peppery arugula in my mac’n’cheese.
1 pound pasta of choice (I use Quinoa elbows for extra protein)
1/2 red onion, diced
1 bunch greens (arugula, kale, chard, or spinach)
4 tbs olive oil
panko bread crumbs and spray cooking oil for topping
1 batch Cheese Sauce (see below)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add pasta. Cook until al dente, drain, and add a few TBS olive oil to keep from sticking.
- While the pasta is cooking, saute your veggies and make your cheese sauce.
- Saute onions in 2 TBS of olive oil until starting to brown. Add greens and let wilt thoroughly. let tougher greens like Kale and Chard cook until almost tender, longer than arugula or spinach.
- Toss veggies and hot cheese sauce through the cooked pasta in a shallow casserole dish and top with panko.
- Spray the panko crust with spray cooking oil and set under low broiler for 3-5 minutes or until browned.
- Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
For Vegan Cheese Sauce
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 TBS Spanish smoked paprika
1-2 TBS dijon mustard
1 cup almond milk (or milk substitute of choice)
1/4 cup soy sauce
a few drops smoked chipotle tabasco (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil (or another vegetable oil of choice)
Directions for Vegan Cheese Sauce
- Mince garlic and nutritional yeast in the food processor or blender.
- Add paprika, mustard, almond milk, soy sauce, and tabasco (if using) and blend until combined. With machine running, slowly add oil until the mixture becomes creamy.
- In a small sauce pan, heat mixture until almost boiling, stirring to prevent it from ticking. Add hot suace to noodles/veggies as called for in step 4 above.
For ACTUAL Cheese Sauce
(Good mac’n’cheese calls for good cheese - I get Cabot at Walmart, the only place in town that sells it, but you can also order it online or use Boar’s Head brand in a pinch)
6 TBS butter + extra for pan
1/2 cup flour
3 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream (optional - you can use all 5 cups milk)
3 cups (12oz) Cabot Extra Sharp White Cheddar, shredded
2 cups (8 oz) Gruyere, shredded
OR 1 1/4 (5oz) cups Grated Pecorino Romano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
- Heat milk in a medium saucepan set over medium heat
- In a large sauce pot, melt 6 tablespoons butter over medium heat until it bubbles, then add flour. Continue to whisk for 1 minute.
- Continue whisking, slowly adding hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
- Remove pan from heat. Stir in nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and both cheeses. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add hot sauce to noodles/veggies as called for in step 4 above.