Caprese Shells and Cheese Salad

It is time to take advantage of the foods coming from southern gardens.  For me, this means finding new uses for basil in my kitchen, besides making pesto.  This recipe combines two favorite dishes – caprese salad and macaroni and cheese.  Serve it warm or cold – it tastes great either way!

Caprese Shells and Cheese Salad

Ingredients

½ lb. dry whole wheat shells

3 Tbsp. margarine

3 Tbsp. flour

1 Tbsp. chopped garlic

1 pint soy creamer

4 oz. soy mozzarella style cheese, cut into small pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

15 oz. can cannellini beans

10.5 oz. cherry tomatoes, quartered (approx. 2 cups)

½ cup chopped basil

 Instructions

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil.  Add pasta shells and boil according to package recommendations.
  2. In the meantime, melt margarine in a large skillet over medium high heat.   When melted, add flour and garlic and stir to make a roux.  Allow to brown slightly, but stir to avoid clumping.  Gradually whisk in 1 pint of soy creamer, ½ cup at a time and allow to cook until a thick sauce forms. Add slices of soy cheese and stir with whisk to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. When cooked, drain pasta and add to sauce.  Toss in quartered cherry tomatoes, cannellini beans, and chopped basil.

Yield: Approximately 7 ½ cups

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