Sunday, February 21, 2010
Baked Pasta Shells and Broccoli (but with macaroni)
I'm always up for trying new pasta and "cheese" recipes so I decided to make Baked Pasta Shells and Broccoli (page 224) but with macaroni. The recipe uses the Mornay-Style Cheeze Sauce (page 552) that Gymmie also made previously.
The Mornay sauce came together easily and is also low fat as it uses cornstarch to thicken instead of a roux. I think though that this would have been better with more fat since it is baked (more on that below). What I liked about the Mornay sauce is that it used vegetable stock instead of plain water. It added a fuller flavour to the sauce, but of course it depends on how good your stock is. I like to use Bryanna's broth powder or the Seitenbacher brand powder.
The entire dish was nice and super creamy before it went into the oven but after it came out, not so much. The pasta absorbed almost all the sauce as you can probably tell from the pic. Now, I do make mac & "cheese" a lot and I know that there is some absorption after baking or in the fridge but this was a huge amount of absorption. The only difference really between my usual sauce and this one is the fat. I make a full fat roux (margarine and oil) for my own. Maybe someone can enlighten me on whether fat content in a sauce would affect absorption?
Regardless, the dish was still tasty, just a little drier than I would like. If making this, I would suggest coating the cooked macaroni with a bit of oil or margarine before adding the sauce, or using some fat in the sauce, or baking for less time, uncovered (to crisp up the breadcrumbs), or skip the baking entirely, or make an extra batch of sauce to serve on top, which is what I did today with the leftovers.
— Ms. Veganorama