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Crazy Good Mediterranean-style Mac & Cheese

Recipe of the Month - March 2022

Crazy Good Mediterranean-style Mac & Cheese

Crazy Good Mediterranean-style Mac & Cheese 1024 629 Mediterranean Bakery & Cafe - Alexandria, Virginia

1 lb pasta
1/2 gallon whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/4 cup sharp cheddar, grated
1 1/4 cup parmesan, grated
3/4 cup mozzarella, grated
6 tbsp cream cheese

4-5 tbsp kalamata olives, diced (roughly 20 olives)
1 cup ready-to-eat lupini beans, drained
1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp oregano

1 cup crushed pita chips or panko

Combine the milk, salt, black pepper, onion and garlic in a stock pot and place on medium-high heat. Add the pasta and stir regularly to prevent the milk from burning or the pasta from clumping. Cook until the pasta is almost, but not quite, ready (approximately 15-20 minutes).

While the pasta is cooking combine the olives, lupini beans, tomatoes and spices and set aside. In another bowl, combine the cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella, and cream cheese. In a third bowl, take 3/4 cup of the combined cheese mixture, add the crushed pita chips to it and set aside. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

When the pasta is almost ready, fold in the combined cheeses (without the pita chips) and stir until it fully melts, then fold in the olives, lupini beans, tomatoes and spices. Pour the mixture into a large casserole dish, then crumble the pita chips and cheese mixture on top. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes and serve. Serves 6-8.