Oven temp and times listed below!! Tips!!
If you follow cooking trends these days you have seen what they are calling gourmet mac and cheese recipes popping up everywhere. I do not consider myself a gourmet cook, I consider myself a what works for me today on a whim cook. Today I was wanting one of my favorite pasta sauces I make, or another words a kicked up mac and cheese. As you know/can see from previous posts, mushrooms, cheese, spinach and pasta are used a lot in my house/recipes. I think they go terrific together, are good for you, easy to prepare and if bought on sale are very reasonable, and don't we all love that. I did try this once with spaghetti squash, but was not crazy about it, so will stick to same ingredients minus white sauce and add chopped tomatoes as always. I like the packaged taco shredded cheese, but make with anything on hand, and really prefer shredding my own if have the time, no cheese is wrong in this recipe, your kitchen your choice. I do have another mac and cheese recipe on here, that we also love.
Here is what I did today:
Precooked my pasta, today it was a long pasta broken into 5 pieces, any pasta works here of course, with onion powder water, like I do all my pastas, drained well, you will need 2 1/2 cup of cooked pasta here!
2 1/2 cups of precooked pasta
1/2 cup of precooked, drained well spinach of choice, fresh you did yourself or frozen
3/4 cup of precooked mushrooms of choice, I like baby portobellos, they all, however work fine
These 3 items can be cooked a day or two ahead before assembling to cut down on preparation time
Made my white sauce:
In your pan on medium heat melt: (if cooking pasta the same day, just toss sauce items in same pan after draining pasta)
2 1/2 tablespoons of butter, once melted add:
2 1/2 tablespoons of flour, stirring and cooking for about 2 mins. or till lightly browned
Add a hugh dollop of your fav mustard
Add your fav spices of choice, I like Herbes de Provence
Whisk in 2 cups of milk, turn heat to medium high and whisk until thickened
Add 1 heaping cup of shredded cheese, I like taco shredded, or of choice
Then add your pasta of choice
Turn out into sprayed baking vessel of choice, today I used some muffin tins and a small casserole dish, for faster baking mainly, and for me, portion control too!!
If desired top with some Italian bread crumbs, mixed with a little parmesan cheese, some thin sliced tomato and shredded cheddar, nothing, or your favorite topping
Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes muffin size, or small casserole size, or until top is nice and brown and sides are bubbly, or even ramekins work great
Of course you can make this in a regular casserole dish, if you have the time
350 for 30-35 minutes
375 for 25-30 minutes
What's so great about mac and cheese is that you can bake at any temp really, along with another dish that might need to go higher or lower!!