Baked Zucchini Mac n Cheese

Serves 6

3 cups milk
1-2 bay leaves
1 lb pasta
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1/2 lb grated cheddar, grated - get the best you can afford/find
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt & pepper to taste
3 large zucchini

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Grate zucchini and using a paper towel, try to wring out as much moisture from the zucchini as possible. Set aside.

3. Heat up the milk with the bay leaves till just before it reaches a boil. Set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the flour and stir for a minute or so till it becomes a smooth paste, and the raw flour smell disappears. 

4. Discard the bay leaves from the hot milk, and slowly whisk it all into the butter/flour mixture till everything is incorporated and starts to thicken. Add in a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg if you have it on hand. Then the salt and pepper, and finally stir in the grated cheese. Remove from the heat. 

5. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box (I had leftover elbows and farfalle, so I mixed them both). Drain completely. Mix gently with the zucchini, cheese sauce, and grated parmesan.

6. Pour into your baking dish, top with breadcrumbs, and pop it in the oven for a good 25 mins or so. When the sauce is bubbling, and the top is golden-brown (keep an eye on it), remove it from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 mins before serving with some spicy ketchup.