Mushroom and Spinach Mac and Cheese

mushroom and spinach mac and cheese, chew on this, little life bytes, karen morrealeI’ve recently decided that I was tired of cooking the same old weeknight meals….chicken, pasta, meatloaf (yes, I love meatloaf, don’t judge), pizza…you know what I mean, right? I needed something different so I started looking through some of my favorite cooking magazines and saw what I thought could be a perfect, new weeknight meal…but, unfortunately some of the ingredients are almost impossible to find. So, I worked my magic and came up with the substitutions needed to be able to actually get the items needed to make this dish. It turned out perfectly, so I’m sharing it with you!

You’ll Need These Ingredients:

3/4 lb. of pasta (I used corkscrews, but you can use any short pasta you like)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large clove garlic (minced very fine)
4 oz. white mushrooms (cut into small pieces)
4 oz. shitake mushrooms (stems off and cut into small pieces)
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 oz. gruyere cheese (shredded or cut into small cubes)
2 oz. fontina cheese (shredded or cut into small cubes)
4 oz. mozzarella (shredded)
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1.5 cups milk (you can even use 2% milk for this recipe)
salt and pepper (to taste)

Optional: Add 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs with 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter in a small pan to toast – for a little crunch on top.

Now Get Cooking:

Boil your pasta according to the instructions on the box. Then in another large saucepan on high heat, add 2 Tbsp. olive oil and 2 Tbsp. butter until melted. Add mushrooms. They will need to cook for a while, until all the water from them has evaporated and they start to get brown bits on the ends (about 10 minutes stirring frequently). Add the garlic and the spinach. Let spinach wilt (another 2-3 minutes). Now, sprinkle the flour over the vegetable mixture and incorporate. Let the flour cook out for a minute or two, then add the milk, pasta and cheeses. Stir until all the cheese is melted and everything is mixed. Now taste it and add your salt and pepper to your liking.

This dish is gooey goodness that takes only about 30 minutes to make. It’s delicious, satisfying, comfort food. The smokey gruyere, the earthiness of the fontina, and well…you know about mozzarella! It’s just perfect!

 

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