This vegetable-packed mac and cheese is nothing like the boxed stuff, and it might quickly become a new cold-weather favorite. Sweet roasted parsnips and carrots pair well with a cheese sauce that’s thin but extremely flavorful, thanks to salty Parmesan and tangy goat cheese.
- 3 medium carrots
- 3 medium parsnips
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 8 ounces whole wheat fusilli
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups shredded Parmesan (about 5 ounces)
- 1 cup crumbled goat cheese (about 4 ounces)
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- Cutting board
- Vegetable peeler
- Chef’s knife
- Sheet pan
- Measuring spoons
- Large pot
- Cheese grater
- Measuring cups
1. Roast the vegetables.
Heat the oven to 400 F and fit a rack near the center. Peel the carrots and parsnips.
Use a chef’s knife to chop the carrots and parsnips into rough ½-inch pieces. Roughly chop the onion. Finely chop the thyme leaves. Combine the vegetables and thyme on a sheet pan and toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread everything evenly over the sheet pan, and roast 25 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and just starting to brown.
2. Cook the pasta.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot according to the package directions. Reserve about 2 cups of pasta water before draining the pasta.
3. Make the sauce and put everything together.
Return the pot to the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add ¾ cup reserved pasta water and bring it to a simmer. Slowly sprinkle the flour into the water, whisking as you do (some lumps are OK, but the liquid should be mostly uniform).
When the flour is incorporated, add the cheese and stir to melt. Add the cooked pasta, roasted vegetables, and baby spinach. Stir everything together and cook until the spinach is wilted.
Divide the pasta into four bowls, and garnish with a little extra Parmesan (if you want).
- Toss vegetables with thyme and oil
- Grate Parmesan
- Crumble goat cheese
- Whisk pasta sauce
- Stir ingredients all together