Sunday, March 27, 2011

Not Too Cheddary Mac And Cheese (with a little spinach!)

I was looking for a mac and cheese that was creamy without all that cheddar bite..ricotta fit the bill!

6 Tbl butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups whole milk
A few gratings of nutmeg ( or a pinch)
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup grated medium cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1  1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
2 Tbl chopped fresh basil
3 handfuls ( or more) fresh baby spinach leaves
8 ounces ziti or shells, cooked al dente
1/2 cup grated medium cheddar for the topping

In a medium sauce pan melt the butter and whisk in the flour to make a light roux.
Over medium heat, slowly add the milk while continually whisking.  Whisk until the mixture thickens.
Add the nutmeg, cayenne, basil, salt and white pepper and stir.  Stir in the ricotta and cheddar until melted.
Stir in the spinach and continue stirring until the spinach wilts.
Combine the cooked pasta with the cheese spinach mixture and turn into a small shallow casserole dish.  ( I used a nine inch round ceramic baking dish) Sprinkle the 1/2 cup cheddar over the top.
Bake at 350F for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly.

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