Mac n Cheese

You may think I have a crazy sweet tooth from seeing all of my recipes, but honestly, I'm more of a savory foods person. Don't get me wrong, I love the simplicity of making a home cooked meal for my little family, but for some reason I love the process of making desserts more. I figure you might need a break from the desserts so today I am sharing with you one of my favorite main dishes.

I can't remember the last time I had mac n cheese out of the box, but never again now that I know that homemade mac n cheese is super simple to make; and it tastes so much better! This recipe is loaded with lots of cheese and packed with a ton of flavor - quite the indulgence. Besides, you can't skimp when it comes to mac n cheese. Who does that? Anyway, I hope you give this recipe a try and hopefully you'll enjoy it as much as my little family does.

Mac n Cheese
(with spinach, ham and scallions)

Yield: makes 8 servings


Ingredients:

16 oz. large elbow macaroni, uncooked
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
10 oz. fresh baby spinach
4 cups thick cut hickory smoked ham steak, diced
½ cup scallions, roughly chopped
¼ cup Italian style bread crumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook pasta according to package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour until a paste forms. Add in the milk one cup at a time, whisking after each addition until the sauce thickens. Season the sauce with salt and black pepper and whisk in grated cheddar cheese until it is melted and fully incorporated. Turn heat to low.

Drain the pasta completely and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the spinach to the bowl of pasta and stir to combine. Add the smoked ham, scallions and the sauce, stir to combine. Pour the mac n cheese into a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the entire dish and top it with the parmesan cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!