Carmen Miller

Baked Mac and Cheese with Ham and Veggies

Serves 4


2 cups medium pasta shells

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

1/2 cup cream

2 cups chopped (1/2-inch pieces) smoked ham

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup frozen peas

2 cups diced (1/2-inch pieces) zucchini

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until just tender but still firm to the bite, about 8-9 minutes. Drain the pasta, and rinse with cold water.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Gradually add the milk and cream, and bring to a boil. Boil gently until the mixture is thickened, whisking frequently, about 10 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

3. Place the cooked pasta in a large mixing bowl, and add the ham, corn, peas, zucchini, salt, pepper and cheese and toss to combine. Pour the reserved sauce over the pasta, and mix thoroughly.

4. Spread the pasta mixture into a 8x8-inch glass baking dish or other 6-cup oval baking dish. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, and bake until bubbling and browned on top, about 15 minutes.

Arugula Salad with Parmigiano-Reggiano and Lemon Vingaigrette

Serves 4


1 5-oz package organic baby arugula

1/2 cup coarsely, freshly grated or shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place the arugula and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a large salad bowl. In a separate, small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and olive oil until well combined. Add the vinaigrette to the greens and cheese, and toss thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Penne with Kale, Feta and Butternut Squash

Serves 4


4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 cups chopped butternut squash (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 bunches (about 1 lb.) kale, thick center stems removed, coarsely chopped

12 oz. penne (whole wheat is a nice option for this recipe)

1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup crumbled or coarsely chopped feta cheese

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash and saute until just tender (but not mushy) and slightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the kale and stock and saute, tossing gently, until the kale is wilted and the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. Cook the pasta in the boiling water untilt ender but still firm to the bite, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.

4. Return the pasta to the pot, add the greens, and toss over low heat. Add 1/4 cup (or more) pasta water to moisten. Remove from the heat, and add the squash and feta, adding more broth or pasta water to moisten if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper.