So my child not only looks nothing like me, but she also doesn't like macaroni and cheese. Had I not birthed her myself, I would seriously wonder if she was really mine. I'm definitely not complaining though - she'd rather eat fresh fruits and veggies than pasta smothered in a cheesy sauce - just because I can't comprehend that gives me no room to judge, right?
She really doesn't know what she's missing out on though. This version of macaroni and cheese tastes so light and fresh, and has become one of my favorite dinners. I'd venture to say that its more of a grown-up version than the typical noodles and cheddar. It has chunks of shrimp, feta cheese, fresh herbs, lemon, and is topped with a crunchy breadcrumb topping. I made a few small additions, such as adding white wine to the sauce, fresh oregano from my garden, and crushed red pepper flakes for a bit of heat. I also used whole wheat pasta and skim milk. I've gotta lighten it up where I can when it calls for over a pound of cheese, after all!
Shrimp, Feta, and Fresh Herb Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 pound pasta shapes
- 1 pound raw shrimp (31-40 count), peeled and deveined, tails removed, and cut into thirds
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 10 ounces feta, crumbled
- zest of 1 lemon, divided
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped and divided
- 5 Tablespoons butter
- 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 2 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces Gruyere, shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400. In a small bowl combine a small handful of the feta, the panko, a pinch of the lemon zest, 2 teaspoons of the parsley, and 1 Tablespoon of melted butter. Mix well with a fork and set aside.
In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk constantly to form a light golden-brown paste. Whisk in the milk, and stirring frequently, cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the feta, Gruyere, parsley, oregano, dill, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Stir to melt the cheese, and pour over pasta and shrimp. Stir well to combine.
Pour the pasta into a lightly greased 3 quart baking dish. Sprinkle the panko topping over the pasta, and bake 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.
adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from The Perfect Pantry