This slightly spicy bright green delight came about tonight while craving homemade mac’n'cheese. I started thinking about what I could do to enhance it. My love of veggies, and the necessity to use up some spinach and mushrooms, helped this dish unfold. Finally I decided that the bit of habanero cheese added to the extra sharp cheddar I had left in the fridge would add the perfect heat on a cold day. I absolutely will make this again, it makes you feel better about eating carbs and melted cheese, and it has just a little spice to it without being hot. This can be great “monster” mac’n'cheese for kids as well.
Mr. A gave this meal an ” ‘A’ for taste, creativity and usage of ingredients already owned.”
- Pasta of your choice. I love cavatappi or galletti (seen below, I got a little zealous opening the bag).
- One 10oz bag fresh spinach
- Mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thin
- Four whole cloves garlic, skin removed
- One medium sized block of extra sharp cheddar, half a small block habanero cheddar
- 1/2 to 1 cup milk
- Olive Oil
- Flour (optional)
- Panko (optional)
*I used my vitamix to make the spinach/garlic sauce initially but a regular blender or food processor would likely do the trick.
- Boil pasta per directions on bag in a large pot.
- In a second pot heat about a tablespoon of oil and saute garlic until soft, about 3 minutes.
- While garlic is sauteing, add about a 1/2 cup of milk, a few tablespoons of olive oil, and all spinach into the vitamix. Once garlic is done, place garlic in the vitamix as well while leaving the infused oil behind.
Go from this…
- Add sliced mushrooms to the now garlic infused oil in the pot and saute until slightly soft.
- While mushrooms are going, grate up all of the cheese.
- Optional: Add about a tablespoon of flour to mushroom mix and make a roux to thicken up. Cook until slightly brown and then add in blended spinach mix. Or, skip the flour and just go ahead and add in the blended spinach mix. If you are going to bake, add in only about 90% of cheese and melt. You may need to add a little more milk at this point to thin a little.
- Drain pasta and mix with the cheese mixture.
- Add to casserole dish, put on remaining 10% of cheese on top and cover in panko or breadcrumbs. Throw under the broiler until crispy and pull on out.
Om. Nom. Nom.