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A simple mac n’ cheese au gratin

    Any parent can relate to the struggles of dealing with children who are picky eaters.  They can also relate to the dinner time rush of preparing a meal the whole family will love – and one they can feel good about serving.  Pasta is a simple, wholesome and versatile option for families today. In fact, according to research commissioned by Canada’s top pasta brand, Catelli, six in 10 Canadian parents feel pasta makes their kids happy and keeps them fueled.  Happy kids means happy parents!

    Try this simple pasta dish from Montreal’s renowned Chef Martin Juneau – a favourite of his daughter Sisi:

    Sisi’s Macaroni N’ Cheese au Gratin

    Preparation Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 25 minutes
    Servings: 4

    • 1 pkg. (375 g) Catelli Smart Macaroni
    • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

    • 2 cups (500 mL) 2% milk
    • 1 tbsp (15 mL) flour
    • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
    • 0.45 lbs (200 g) grated old orange Cheddar
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Cherry Tomato Salad
    • 4 cups (1 litre) multi-coloured cherry tomatoes, cut in half
    • 1 lemon, zest and juice
    • 1 cup (250 mL) Italian parsley, chopped
    • 2 tbsp  (30 ml) olive oil

    1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain and cool on a plate oiled with 2 tbsp of olive oil.

    2. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook 5 minutes. Add milk, using a whisking motion and cook the béchamel over low heat for fifteen minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt and pepper. Turn off heat and stir in 150 g shredded cheddar cheese.

    3. Spread macaroni evenly in a medium to large baking dish. Pour the béchamel over the macaroni. Top with remaining grated cheese. Bake 15 minutes at 350°F (180°C), then broil for an additional 10 minutes. Remove dish from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.

    4. In a large bowl, combine cherry tomatoes, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons of olive oil (30 mL) and parsley leaves. Mix well and place tomato salad directly on top of macaroni.

    More meal time pasta inspiration is available at

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