Broccoli, spinach and a sage flavored cheddar cheese and voila, your go-to mac & cheese has a cousin, Broccoli and Spinach Mac and Cheese. Your go-to mac and cheese becomes a creamy, green mac and cheese.
Mac & cheese; we all have our favorite recipe, I do too. Yesterday, I took the liberty of changing one of my mac & cheese recipes a little bit, incorporating vegetables and a flavored cheese. I decided to use Sage Derby Cheese; an English cheddar with sage and spinach (the latter for the color, the first for the flavor). Then I decided to add spinach, for a bright green and broccoli for flavor and the necessary veggies. It turned out to become a very creamy green Mac & Cheese.
I chopped the broccoli, you can use your food processor to make broccoli rice, but I don’t think that is necessary; broccoli cuts a whole lot easier than cauliflower. When you cut it by hand, you can also decide to keep some large pieces, add some chew to the dish. Cook the spinach and chop it, or chop the spinach and add it. Cook first allows you to get rid of some of the moisture. You also throw away some of the green color, but not to worry; the dish will be green, with or without the green spinach water.
Cook the pasta, I used Cavatappi pasta, but it goes without saying that your can use every pasta under the sun. Chop or rice the broccoli, cook, chop and squeeze the spinach. Make a standard cheese sauce; butter, flour and milk and add the shredded Sage Derby Cheese. Add some salt and pepper to the sauce if needed. You may like to add some nutmeg ?
Mix all; pasta, vegetables, cheese sauce and transfer to a dish. Place the dish in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes. If you like you can add some cheese on top to get a extra brown crunchy top.
That crunchy, blackened part of a cheese sauce in the oven, used the be my favorite part of a dish and when I was young, my brothers and I would almost fight over it at the dinner table. For the sake of a visible picture, I didn’t sprinkle cheese over the top and you see, already we have some crunch. Enjoy!
Broccoli and Spinach Mac & Cheese
- 4 ounces cavatappi pasta
- 4 ounces spinach
- 8 ounces broccoli
- 1 ounce butter
- 1 ounce all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 4 ounces sage derby cheese
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the packaging.
- Chop the broccoli fine or use your food processor to make broccoli rice.
- Cook the spinach just a few minutes and chop fine. Press as much liquid out of it as you can.
- Shred the cheese and make a cheese sauce. Melt the butter, add the flour, cook for 1 minute and add the milk (warm).
- Once you have a smooth sauce, add the cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix pasta with vegetables and cheese sauce.
- Transfer to dish and place dish in the oven.
- Cook for approx. 20 minutes and serve.