12 Feb

In addition to writing my own blog, I love reading other blogs (check out the side bar on my homepage for a few of my favs)…in fact, that was part of my inspiration for starting HHH. I can easily waste spend 45 minutes surfing around the internet, reading blogs, looking for ideas, bookmarking recipes….that’s how I came across this recipe for Rocco DiSpirito. Tina, of Carrots ‘n Cake blogged about making this mac and cheese and how it had exceeded her expectations of tastiness for a light macaroni and cheese recipe.

I’ve never tried any other recipes by Rocco DiSpirito, but I’ve seen him on the Rachael Ray Show a couple of times and his stuff always looks pretty good. Based on Tina’s recommendation, I decided to give the recipe a try – with a few tweaks.

First of all, I only made 1/2 the recipe since it was just my mom and I, and I wanted to make sure we got the portion size correct. Second, I didn’t have dry mustard, so I just stirred in a touch of Dijon. Also, I used an Italian blend of cheese instead of the cheddar because that’s what I had on hand. And I used a regular white onion instead of a Vidalia. For the breadcrumbs, I used regular panko instead of whole wheat (c’mon Rocco, do you you really think Simcoe’s Superstore is going to stock whole wheat panko? I was just happy they had the regular stuff!). I used fusilli because we didn’t have any macaroni and, lastly, I baked it in two individual onion soup bowls (aren’t they so adorable and retro). So….how did it turn out with all those subs?

…fantastic! My mom and I were both big fans. I was a little nervous because the sauce texture seemed a bit off…but was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out. I liked how Rocco cooked and pureed the onion and garlic for added texture and flavour…never would have thought of that myself. The serving size is not that big (after all, it is a light recipe), so I paired it with a generous portion of veggies, as you can see above (roasted squash with spices and sauteed rapini, kale, and mushrooms with garlic). Making the dish in the individual dishes helps though, as it makes a smaller portion look more like a meal, thus, more satisfying.

If you are craving comfort food that won’t fill you out too much, I recommend this mac ‘n cheese….it would be a lovely supper this weekend, or maybe even for someone special on Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!

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