We tried out this recipe for our "Deceptively Delicious" Cooking Club on Saturday. All the recipes had to include some kind of "hidden" veggies. This one is my kicked-up version of an old classic. Some restaurants might call this "Adult Mac & Cheese" because of the fancy cheese and greens. I say feed it to your kids and let them enjoy the tasty benefits of a homemade comfort food. Our family could eat off this dish for days - great leftovers for lunches.
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs or 1 cup Trader Joe's Fried Onion Pieces (These onions are like the kind used on green bean casserole but TJ's brand doesn't use all the nasty preservatives like MSG and other chemicals found in other brands.) do.
1 8-ounce package uncooked whole wheat pasta (We love rotini - the curly noodles - because they hold the sauce well.)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup shallots or green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup smoked gouda cheese (or cheese of your choice), shredded
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
3 cups spinach, kale or swiss chard, coarsely chopped (frozen or fresh)
Olive oil spray
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Boil water for pasta, cook and strain.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet melt butter of medium heat.
4. Add chopped shallots or green onions and garlic and cook about 1 minute until translucent.
5. Add flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in flaxseed, salt, pepper and milk.
6. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking until thick.
7. Remove from heat and add gouda and parmesan cheese. Stir until melted.
8. Spray 2-quart casserole dish with olive oil spray. Mix cooked pasta and greens in casserole dish. Pour cheese sauce over top.
9. Sprinkle top with bread crumbs or fried onions.
10. Bake approximately 15 minutes until breadcrumbs/onions are browned and sauce is bubbly.