I wanted something that would taste like comfort food but also something different. I decided to try a spin off of my Mac n Cheese. As with all experimental cooking, it could have gone either way. I’m happy to report that this was a keeper. The Rockstar loved it as did frick and frack, ahem, I mean my adorable sons of course! It was also well received as left overs when my girlfriend Folake came over with her kiddos. Hi, Lady!
It was enough to feed an army and even though there is about 6 cups of spinach in it, you should probably serve it with a salad or fresh veggies because it is rich and cheese filled!
You will need the following:
- 1 pound pasta. You can use penne or ziti or elbow Mac. Whatever you’ve got on hand should work. This is what I had.
- 4 Tblsp flour
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 4 Tblsp salted butter
- 4 cups whole milk
- 3 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
- 6 cups fresh spinach
- 1 package sausages, sliced and browned (This is optional. This dish would be a great vegetarian option. So, just skip these if that’s what you’re going for)
- Cook pasta to aldente, drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet or sauce pan, melt butter and add flour to make a roux. Mix in milk and bring up to heat until it begins to thicken. Whisking constantly. Add paprika and stir.
- Mix the cheese into the milk mixture and stir until smooth.
- Pour half of your pasta into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Next, layer on all of your fresh spinach, followed by half of the sausage. Repeat with remaining pasta and sausage.
- Pour cheese mixture over the layers and give your pan a slight jiggle to help it seep down through the layers.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour until the edges are bubbly and golden. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
This was perfect to satiate my need for a “comfort casserole” that night. I hope you will find comfort in it as well. Swearing Mom out.