Welcome Back!Sign in here:

   Reset Password

Not Registered?Still need to become one of our thirsty clan 158,694 strong?

Now's your chance!

Register Today!

Want the best wine for your buck?

206,698Wine Reviews
161,618Members
30Seconds to join
Ad

Mac & Gruyere Casserole with Leek Tops & Other Veggies

Mac & Gruyere Casserole with Leek Tops & Other Veggies

Really, don't let the leek top thing throw you off this one. I first read about using leek tops in a frugality article encouraging the use of items like this that are often thrown away. Here, the remnants of the leeks I used for last night's soup combine with the cheese, mushrooms and other ingredients for an earthy dish with a bit of zip.

1 lg leek top, sliced thinly

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup water

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

1/4 cup red wine

6-8 mushrooms, sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup Gruyere, grated

1/2 cup grated romano or parmesan

1/2 cup milk or cream

1 tsp Herbes de Provence

1/2 lb. short pasta, such as elbow or penne

1/2 cup or so breadcrumbs

salt & pepper to taste

olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Begin boiling water for pasta. Heat olive oil in a skillet, then saute the garlic for a minute or so. Add the leeks, saute on medium heat, salt generously. Gradually add the water to keep the pan from getting too dry. After they begin to soften in about 10 minutes or so, add the peppers, mushrooms and butter. This is a good time to add the pasta, and cook until al dente.

Continue cooking the vegetables. After the mushrooms begin to sweat, stir in the wine. Meanwhile, drain the pasta, be sure not to cook beyond al dente as it will cook more in the oven. Stir the gruyere and milk into the pasta, then stir in the vegetables. Spread the pasta into a casserole dish. Top with the romano cheese and breadcrumbs, spreading them evenly over the top to just cover it. Spray the top with a bit of olive oil. Bake covered for about 15 minutes. Remove the cover, return to oven to broil for a minute or two, in order to brown the top a bit. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't get overdone. Remove and serve hot!

Note: Most mac & cheese recipes I've seen call for heating the cheese and cream to make a sauce. Not a bad idea, but for weeknight cooking I think this step can be skipped to save time and a pan. This recipe is not intended to be a purist version of mac & cheese anyway; rather it's a quick and simple way to use up some ingredients you might have on hand. It's lighter than typical mac & cheese.

Wine pairing: A baked pasta like this, with mushrooms and Gruyere, call for an earthy red to match. I went with the 2008 Moulin de Gassac Le Mazet ($10), a red blend from France's Languedoc region, blending Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan, Syrah and Alicante. This is a great every day red to have around for cool weather like casseroles and stews.


Complementary Wines: Bardolino, Nero D'Avola

If you'd like more delicious recipes and wine pairings, join my website.



Visit 's wine and food blog Cooking Chat.

Return to Recipes

Ad

FEEL LOST IN THE

STORE?

Know the wines you want before you even get to the store with my wine reviews. Join now. It's free.

Wine of the Week

As featured on  

CTV Wine of the Week!

Thatched Hut Red Wine
Pinot Noir 2013,
Central Otago, South Island ...
Ad

Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean is editor of Canada's largest wine review web site, publishing hundreds of wine reviews every week for more than 161,618 members.

She was named the World's Best Drinks Writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia.

Natalie has published two books with Random House, the second was named one of Amazon's Best Books of the Year. Get access to all of her reviews today by becoming a member of her site.

PAY TOO MUCH FOR

WINE?

Get my reviews of terrific under-priced wines. Save money, drink better wine.

Red, White & Drunk All Over

  Best Books of the Year

Red, White & Drunk all over by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean writes about wine with a sensuous obsession... and often laugh-out-loud funny... Terrific.

Rex Pickett, Sideways

Ms. MacLean is the disarming Everywoman. She loves wine, loves drinking ... ultimately, it's a winning formula.

Eric Asimov, The New York Times

GOT A SMARTPHONE?

Access my reviews on mobile with the bar code scanner.

GET NAT'S APP

Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search

  Best Books of the Year

Unquenchable by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean is a new force in the wine writing world ‐ a fiesty North American answer to Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. She can write beautifully about wine.

The Financial Times of London

There are very few people in the wine world who "get it" and Natalie is one of those who brings more fun to a buttoned-up and stodgy game.

Gary Vaynerchuck, Wine Library TV

Starting a Wine Cellar?

Expert advice for all budgets

Insider tips on starting a wine cellar
From wine racks to underground caves, insider tips on size and space, number of bottles, ideal conditions and reputable resources.   learn more  
Winner World's Best Drink Writer
Four-Time Winner James Beard Foundation
Five-Time Winner Association of Food Journalists
Six-Time Winner Bert Greene Award
Best Wine Literature Book Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
Online Writer of the Year Louis Roederer International Wine Writing Award