Spring Mac and Cheese with Peas and Parsley

Recipe developed and contributed by Maureen Gualtieri

This easy stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe carried me through the winter. We have such loyalty to it that –  will we drop it come spring? No siree, we’ll update it! The velvety cheddar sauce cries out for fresh seasonal additions, and I’ve found the perfect ones in a fistful of bright green garden peas and crisp curly parsley. DFC’s Original Hot & Seedy mustard boosts the intense aged cheese flavour, and coats every pasta shell with a delightful crunch. Whip up a batch for a quick weeknight dinner, and enjoy the fact that it’s still light out while you eat it!

Spring Mac and Cheese with Peas and Parsley

(Yield: 8 servings)

375g (approx half a bag) small shells pasta

2 tbsp (20g) all-purpose flour

2 tbsp (30g) unsalted butter

2 c. (170g) aged cheddar cheese, grated

2 c. (450ml) milk

salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

4 tbsp (60g) DFC’s Original Hot & Seedy mustard

2 c. (300g) green peas, fresh or frozen

1 c. (80g) curly parsley, minced

Set a large pot full of salted water on the boil. Meanwhile, in a smaller heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat, melt your butter. When it is fully melted, tip in the flour and whisk continuously until the roux is uniform and smells nutty and delicious, 3 – 5 minutes. Pour in the milk and keep whisking while you raise the heat to medium-high. Add in the black pepper and DFC’s Original Hot & Seedy mustard. Once the science happens and the mixture thickens, add in the cheese and whisk until melted and thoroughly incorporated. Hold on very low heat.

Once your large pot of water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta shells. One minute before they’re done, add the peas. When the minute is up the pasta should be al dente and the peas cooked through. Strain both, then toss in a large bowl with the cheese sauce and the parsley. Adjust seasoning if needed, and enjoy the cheesy goodness!

You’ll need a few classic ingredients and a couple surprises for this recipe: Shell pasta, milk, flour, cheddar cheese, butter, peas, parsley, pepper, and DFC’s Original Hot & Seedy mustard.
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