Time for June’s Secret Recipe Club. I’m loving participating because without fail each month I get introduced to either a blog that is new to me or that I’ve read before but never cooked from. This month continued the trend but was even more fun because my assigned blog, Carrie’s Sweet Life, is written by Minnesotan Carrie. Even though I haven’t lived in Minnesota for 7 1/2 years, I love little reminders of the state where I grew up – seeing people in Chicago in Twins gear, spotting Minnesota license plates on the road, and now being assigned a Minnesota girl as a partner for Secret Recipe Club.
As the title of her blog might suggest, there are a lot of sweet treats on Carrie’s blog like Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Boston Cream Pie. But the recipes that caught my eye were for pastas. Never a girl to shy away from noodles, I knew one of those recipes would be my pick for the month. In particular, I loved the sound of her Sun Dried Tomato Mac & Cheese. Mac & cheese is one of those dishes I find it hard to say no to, whether in cookbooks or on restaurant menus and it struck me that as many variations of mac & cheese as I’ve made over the years, I’ve never tried it with sun dried tomatoes.
Carrie’s version called for a sun dried tomato veggie dip mix, but since I didn’t have any on hand I opted for some sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil. I also swapped out the Velveeta for some gruyere. It is my absolute favorite on mac and cheese and thought the nuttiness would work well with the sweetness of the tomatoes. My last change was to make this a stovetop make and cheese. My original intent was to make it in the oven but since it has been in the 80′s and 90′s in Chicago lately mac & cheese straight from the stove sounded more appealing, and easier on my electricity bill
Thanks to Carrie’s Sweet Life for the inspiration for this recipe! It was delicious, creamy and absolutely hit the spot.
Adapted from Carrie’s Sweet Life
-1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
-1 cup milk
-1 tablespoon butter
-2 tablespoons all purpose flour
-10 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-Salt and pepper, to taste
-2 cups steamed broccoli
-1 16-ounce box of pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained
Place sun dried tomatoes and milk in a blender. Process until smooth and set aside. Melt butter over medium-high heat in a large heavy-bottom saucepan. Add the flour and stir vigorously. Add the milk mixture and whisk until smooth and thick.
Stir in the shredded cheese and garlic powder and stir until the cheese has melted and is well incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in noodles and broccoli and serve with parsley and shredded parmesan on top, if desired.