Going meatless

As the nine days continue (and even afterwards), we are taking a break from meat. Here are some simple pasta and bean recipes guaranteed to fill hungry tummies.

mac and cheese 311 (photo credit: Brian Corn/Wichita Eagle/MCT)
mac and cheese 311
(photo credit: Brian Corn/Wichita Eagle/MCT)
White Bean Stew
4 tablespoons olive oil1 onion, chopped2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic1 (32-ounce) box vegetable broth2 (19-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh – the smell and taste are so much better!)1 teaspoon pepper3 (8-ounce) jars (or the equivalent) roasted red peppers, thinly sliced2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
In a large medium Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft – about 5 minutes.  Pour in broth and bring to a boil.  Stir in beans, rosemary and pepper.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add roasted peppers and vinegar and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Serve in bowls alongside a crusty bread, if desired.
Pasta and Pesto
1 (16-ounce) package linguine¼ cup pine nuts2 cups basil leaves1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (fresh not dry)½ cup olive oil
Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain.  In the meantime, place all other ingredients except olive oil in a food processor and purée.  Slowly add olive oil, processing as you go.  Toss with warm pasta and serve.  Garnish with additional grated Parmesan, if desired.

Macaroni and Cheese
It doesn’t get more basic than this – but macaroni and cheese is so popular it is only the menu of many a high-end restaurant.  This is our favorite version.
1 (16-ounce) package elbow macaroni, cooked according to package instructions and drained
½ cup butter
½ cup flour
4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 pound Cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large skillet with 2-inch sides, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Whisk in flour until smooth.  Gradually add milk, whisking constantly, until thickened. Stir in mustard.  Gradually add 2/3 cheese, stirring constantly, until smooth.  Mix with macaroni and pour into greased 9 x 13-inch pan.  Cover top with remaining cheddar (you can add more if top isn’t covered and you like it cheesy) and bake for about 45 minutes (less if you don’t like the top crunchy – we do!)

Recipe by www.gourmetkoshercooking.com