Mac And Cheese With A Twist!
Mac and cheese lovers unite! Nothing is more comforting than a delicious bowl of ooey-gooey macaroni and cheese. I grew up eating this in so many different ways as a child. Does anyone still eat mac and cheese mixed with hotdogs?! These days I can elevate it a little more. My kids love seafood so making lobster or crab mac and cheese is such a treat for them. This particular dish is loaded with yummy veggies and crispy pancetta. I like to use shallots because they are not as sharp as onions, their taste and texture mellow out nicely. You also get some smoky and sweet in this dish from the paprika and tomatoes! Share some of your favorite nostalgic mac and cheese memories with me below in the comments.
1 lb Elbow Macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons shallot, minced.
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (half and half works too.)
3 cups white cheddar
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained well and chopped.
1/2 cup mushrooms
,2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup crispy pancetta
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook the pasta according to instructions. Set aside.
Add pancetta to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until crispy and remove to drain and set aside.
Using the same pan add garlic and shallot and cook for 1-2 minutes. Now add in mushroom and cook for about three minutes more. (This allows the moisture in the mushrooms to release) Add your spinach and cook until wilted. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
Carefully wipe out the pan and return to heat. Heat butter over medium-low heat.
Now whisk in flour gradually until smooth. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and cream stirring until thickened. Reduce heat to low. Add spices and two cups of cheese.
Stir in the pancetta, spinach, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes. Remove from heat.
Add pasta to the skillet and evenly spoon the cheese sauce over it.
Pour the pasta into a lightly greased baking dish or cast iron skillet. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheeses.
Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
A perfect dish to serve this holiday.
Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!