Stovetop Mac & Cheese with Summer Squash & Cucumber Salad

Stovetop Mac & Cheese

with Summer Squash & Cucumber Salad

Group Created with Sketch. 35 min
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    4 Servings
  • icon-nutrition Created with Sketch. Est. 800 Cals/serving
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This recipe puts a gourmet stovetop spin on a classic comfort food: mac and cheese. We’re using both sharp cheddar and mild fontina, which melt deliciously into a creamy sauce for our corkscrew-shaped fusilli pasta and spinach. On the side, a salad of crisp cucumber and summer squash (you may receive green zucchini, grey zucchini, or yellow squash) balances the rich flavors of the dish.

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Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Grate the cheddar and fontina cheeses on the large side of a box grater; combine in a medium bowl. Thinly slice the squash into rounds. Peel the cucumber, leaving alternating strips of skin intact; thinly slice into rounds. Roughly chop the peppers. Pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Quarter and deseed the lemon.

Cook the pasta:
2 Cook the pasta:

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 10 to 11 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Cook the spinach:
3 Cook the spinach:

While the pasta cooks, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer to a plate; season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the pan.

Make the cheese sauce:
4 Make the cheese sauce:

While the pasta continues to cook, in the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Slowly whisk in the milk and ¾ cup of water; cook, whisking frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Reduce the heat to low. Add the cheddar and fontina cheeses and cook, whisking frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until melted and thoroughly combined. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the salad:
5 Make the salad:

In a medium bowl, combine the squash, cucumber, peppers, basil (tearing the leaves just before adding), and the juice of all 4 lemon wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish.

Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked spinach (including any liquid from the plate), cheese sauce, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and the pasta is coated. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the finished pasta to a serving dish. Serve with the salad on the side. Enjoy!

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Get This Recipe Delivered
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Grate the cheddar and fontina cheeses on the large side of a box grater; combine in a medium bowl. Thinly slice the squash into rounds. Peel the cucumber, leaving alternating strips of skin intact; thinly slice into rounds. Roughly chop the peppers. Pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Quarter and deseed the lemon.

2 Cook the pasta:

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 10 to 11 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Cook the spinach:
3 Cook the spinach:

While the pasta cooks, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer to a plate; season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the pan.

4 Make the cheese sauce:

While the pasta continues to cook, in the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Slowly whisk in the milk and ¾ cup of water; cook, whisking frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Reduce the heat to low. Add the cheddar and fontina cheeses and cook, whisking frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until melted and thoroughly combined. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the cheese sauce:
Make the salad:
5 Make the salad:

In a medium bowl, combine the squash, cucumber, peppers, basil (tearing the leaves just before adding), and the juice of all 4 lemon wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish.

6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked spinach (including any liquid from the plate), cheese sauce, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and the pasta is coated. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the finished pasta to a serving dish. Serve with the salad on the side. Enjoy!

Finish the pasta & serve your dish: