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Creamy Spinach Pasta Homemade Mac And Cheese Recipe

Creamy Spinach Macaroni and Cheese

This Creamy Spinach Pasta is a delicious twist on homemade Mac and Cheese, it's an upscale version of a childhood classic.  Your family will love this easy weeknight meal!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 715kcal
Author: Mariam E.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1/3 lb frozen spinach thawed and excess water squeezed out
  • PESTO SAUCE
  • 1 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Optional: You can use fresh store bought pesto as well

Instructions

  • In a food processor, combine basil, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese. Puree until combined. As the food processor continues to run, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook the elbow macaroni according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook until well combined. Whisk in milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until thickened, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Remove skillet from heat and whisk in cheeses, 1/4 cup pesto, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and salt. Stir in macaroni and spinach. Cook for 7-10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Use enough cold, fresh water that once the pasta begins to cook and expand, there will still be plenty of room for the pasta to move freely.
  • Starches absorb water instantly and you want the water temperature to be extremely hot to begin cooking the noodles properly.
  • Bulk up the creamy pasta with more veggies if you like!
  • Drain your pasta enough to remove most of the water, but don’t let drained pasta sit and “dry off”. As it cools, the starches will firm up and the pasta will stick together.

Nutrition

Serving: 4g | Calories: 715kcal | Carbohydrates: 98.7g | Protein: 31.1g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8.6g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 626mg | Fiber: 5.3g | Sugar: 9.7g
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