Creamy Mac and Cheese with Kale
Dish Type ---> Pasta
Diet ---> Vegetarian
Difficulty ---> Medium
It is a basic fact, almost everyone loves mac and cheese. We sneak it in as a side in restaurants. We nibble on the leftovers we made for the kids. To make a wonderful thing even better, I have incorporated kale into this recipe, adding texture, color and flavor that will have you making this again and again.
8 ounces elbow macaroni
4 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup milk, divided
1/2 cup smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon thyme
1 sea salt
1 cup breadcrumbs
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Bring a large stockpot filled with water to a boil, and add 1 tbsp. of salt.
- Fill a bowl with ice and water and have it ready near stove.
- Put chopped kale into boiling water for 1 minute, remove with a slotted spoon, reserving the pot of boiling water, and put kale directly into ice water for 2 minutes.
- Remove kale from water and let drain on a towel.
- Add macaroni to the boiling pot and cook in salted boiling water until still a bit firm, about 5-6 minutes, then drain.
- Coat an 8-10” baking pan with cooking spray and pour in cooked pasta.
- In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until lightly golden. Add thyme.
- In a medium pot, bring 1 ½ cups milk to a simmer.
- In a separate bowl, combine the 3 tbsp. flour with the remaining ¼ cup milk.
- Add flour mixture to warm milk and simmer, stirring, until it becomes thick, about 3 minutes.
- Add cheddar, Gouda, ¼ cup of the Parmesan and whisk until cheese is melted and fully incorporated. You can add extra milk as needed to thin sauce so that it will evenly coat pasta.
- Mix cheese sauce, drained kale, onions and salt into pasta.
- In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs with 1 tbsp. olive oil and ¼ cup Parmesan.
- Top pasta evenly with breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake until cheese is bubbling, about 25 minutes.
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