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Blush Mac and Cheese with Tomatoes

Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl
Hands-on time 29 mins
Total time 29 mins
Yield Serves 4 (serving size: 1 1/4 cups pasta and about 3 tomatoes)
Serve with Celery and Parsley Salad.


  • 8 ounces uncooked corkscrew pasta
  • 1 (1-pint) container grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup diced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Celery and Parsley Salad

Nutrition Information

  • calories 414
  • fat 11.2 g
  • satfat 4.5 g
  • monofat 4 g
  • polyfat 1.3 g
  • protein 12.6 g
  • carbohydrate 59.5 g
  • fiber 5.1 g
  • cholesterol 24 mg
  • iron 3.4 mg
  • sodium 575 mg
  • calcium 155 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat broiler to high.

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

  3. While pasta cooks, place tomatoes on a jelly-roll pan lined with foil. Broil 8 minutes or until tomatoes are beginning to blacken.

  4. While tomatoes cook, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add diced shallots, minced garlic, and thyme; sauté 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add tomato paste; cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, black pepper, and salt; bring to a boil. Cook 4 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add spinach, stirring constantly until spinach starts to wilt. Add shredded cheddar cheese, and stir until smooth. Stir in cooked pasta. Top with the roasted tomatoes.