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!
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.