Saturday, February 8, 2014

Spinach, Tomato, and Bacon Mac & Cheese

This recipe is a smash hit, not just with my family, but at social gatherings and among my kids' friends as well. For my wine club "meetings" and other no-kids-allowed get togethers, I add 1 and 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper, to give it a little kick. On this day however, I made it for the kids' lunch.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion (finely diced)
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 1/2 cups of milk
2 & 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar
1 & 1/4 cup of shredded swiss cheese
16 oz macaroni
1 cup of torn or chopped fresh spinach leaves (stems removed)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (drained)
8 slices of bacon (chopped)
**1 & 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Cook macaroni according to package's directions. Meanwhile, sautee the onion in the olive oil for 3 minutes. 

Stir in the flour, ground mustard, and pepper, making an ugly paste.

Gradually whisk in the milk, and cook until thickened (about 5 minutes), stirring and scraping the bottom occasionally.

Stir in 2 cups of the cheddar, and 1 cup of the swiss, leaving heat on just until melted. 

After draining the macaroni, stir it into the cheese mixture.

Add the spinach, tomato, and bacon...

...and stir.

Pour into a greased 9x13, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Yummy!

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