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Caprese Mac ‘N’ Cheese

by Pierce Abernathy

Ingredients

for 4 servings

  • 1 lb
    elbow macaroni, uncooked (455 g)
  • ¼ cup
    unsalted butter, 1/2 stick (55 g)
  • ¼ cup
    all-purpose flour (30 g)
  • 3 ½ cups
    whole milk (840 mL)
  • ¼ teaspoon
    paprika
  • 1 teaspoon
    ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon
    kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 cups
    baby spinach (80 g)
  • 2 cups
    shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (200 g)
  • ½ lb
    fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced, optional (225 g)
  • 3 small tomatoes, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons
    fresh basil, chopped
    Calories 1066
    Fat 46g
    Carbs 109g
    Fiber 5g
    Sugar 14g
    Protein 52g

Estimated values based on one serving size.

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Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large cast-iron skillet, melt the butter over low heat until foamy. Add the flour and stir until completely smooth and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  4. While stirring, gradually add the milk and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 4 minutes. Season with the paprika, pepper, and salt.
  5. Fold in the spinach and stir until wilted. Add 1½ cups (150 g) of shredded mozzarella and stir until completely melted.
  6. Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat in the sauce.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining shredded mozzarella evenly over the pasta, then top with the fresh mozzarella if using. Arrange the tomato slices on top.
  8. Bake until browned and bubbling, about 25 minutes.
  9. Top with basil before serving.
  10. Enjoy!
 

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