Who doesn’t love Mac & Cheese? Let’s take a break from healthy vegetarian dishes for a minute and indulge! Wholesome and rich, it reminds me of being a kid again. Last year, in an effort to make my Mac & Cheese a tiny bit healthier, I started adding fresh spinach. Cheddar and spinach were really made for each other ! This time, I went a step further and made a spinach based cheese sauce and it was delicious.
So, when you’re in the mood for comfort food, shelve the kraft dinner for the salad spinner!
- 6 cups pasta (I prefer cavatappi – it’s fluffier and lighter in this dish – but elbow macaroni is also good.)
- 1 onion VERY finely chopped
- 3 generous handfuls of spinach ( 1 handful VERY finely chopped, 2 handfuls shredded.)
- 3 cups milk
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 tbsp of butter
- salt to taste
- pinch black pepper
- pinch of paprika
- Boil the pasta until al dente.
- Over very low heat, melt 2 tbsps of butter in a sauce pan.
- Add onion into the butter and saute over low heat until soft and translucent. About 6 – 10 minutes.
- Stir in finely chopped spinach and cook for about 1 minute.
- Add remaining butter (1 tbsp) then slowly whisk in flour until well incorporated.
- Add milk 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil then lower to simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in 1 cup of cheese until well blended.
8. Mix in cheese sauce with VERY WELL DRAINED pasta and fresh shredded spinach.
9. Top with remaining cheese ( 1 1/2 cups) and sprinkle with paprika.
10. Bake for 20 mins at 350 degrees.
11. Raise oven to a broil to finish for no longer than 5 mins.
Watch out, don’t burn it!