Pasta: Because it’s good for you

French Macaroni Gratin

macaroni and cheese recipeThe Kitchen has set up temporary digs in the beautiful mountainscape of Whistler BC. I’m taking a couple of days of autumn quiet to prep for this weekend’s Pathways to Leadership retreat. You know how when you are about do something – well – something kind of biggish – and you want to be in really good shape for it?

I’ve made a commitment to lead by example – eat well, rest well and take time to nurture and nourish myself. So, while the rain pours down outside and noisily patters into the steaming pool and hot tub (which I just vacated, incidentally), I’m snugly ensconced beside the fireplace about to tuck into a delicious plate of Diane Clement’s recipe for Vicki’s French Macaroni Gratin. (No, not named after moi, but rather that icon of Canadian radio and TV, Vicki Gabereau. They must be good friends or something, otherwise I’m sure she would have named it after me).

This comes from Diane Clement’s cookbook, Zest for Life. It’s one of the Kitchen’s standby fave cookbooks. The only way I changed the recipe is that I used brown rice pastas spirals instead of penne. I’m laying off the wheat these days. Between that and the goat cheese, this dish steps up to the ‘clean eats’ category – a great and super-easy  recipe for gluten-free diets. Oh, and I used my own garden tomatoes (ahem). I’m sure Diane would approve.

  • 4 cups penne
  • 1/2 cup nicoise or any brine cured imported black olives pitted
  • 5 tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme (I recommend a little more)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 11/2 cups chevre cheese
  • 1 cup fresh parmesan

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain. Add all remaining ingredients except the Parmesan cheese. Spoon into 13x9x2 inch casserole. Sprinkle parmesan over top and bake at 400 Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes.

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About Vicki

I’m a coach and consultant and in my spare time I like to cook and play house. I believe happy idleness is a purposeful pathway to a contented life. And I am happiest either in my pajamas or an apron – or both.

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