Food Porn: Cheesy Baked Cavatappi with Onions and Peppers

An uninspired (read: not pretty) but very comfort-foody dish. This *so* didn’t taste like a “light” recipe. I served it with spinach because a) I like spinach, b) spinach is a 0 point food, and c) it went well together. I was in such a hurry to eat last night that I almost forgot to take a picture. I remembered to just before I dug in, thus the fork in the middle of the picture. 😉

Here’s the recipe for those of you that are interested:

Cheesy Baked Cavatappi with Onions and Peppers

1 tsp. olive oil
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
2 1/2 c. chopped red bell pepper (about 2 large peppers) [I was low on red peppers, so I used a mix of red, yellow, and orange]
12 oz. uncooked cavatappi [I used whole wheat to increase the level of fiber]
2 1/2 c. 1% low-fat milk
1 oz. all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 tsp. butter
4 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
4 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded (1 cup)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Dash of ground nutmeg
Dash of ground red pepper
Cooking spray
2 tbsp. dry breadcrumbs [I used Italian because I couldn’t find the panko breadcrumbs]
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add bell pepper; saute 3 minutes. Remove mixture from pan; set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

Combine milk and flour in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Melt butter in saucepan over medium-high heat; add milk mixture, stirring with a whisk. Cook 3 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; gradually add cheeses, stirring with a whisk until cheeses melt. Stir in salt, black pepper, nutmeg, and ground red pepper. Add onion mixture and pasta, stirring well to combine. Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over pasta mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until bubbly. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Recipe is from Cooking Light Magazine. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

Nutrition: 361 cal, 12.2 g fat, 17.1 g pro, 421 mg sod, 1.7 g fiber, 46.1 g carb, 8 WW points