I posted on my FB status that I was making Spinach-Bacon Mac and Cheese for dinner tonight. Here is how I did it. I used this recipe for inspiration but I changed a lot of things to make it my own.
2 cups short pasta (macaroni, penne, etc.; I used rotini)
1/2 lb bacon, cut in small pieces
3 TBS butter
1/2 large or 1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced (or to taste; I really like garlic)
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste
1 tsp dijon mustard
3 tbs flour
2 cups milk (I had 1 cup half 'n half so I used that)
2 cups favorite sharp cheese (I used a Kraft 3 cheese blend with the "touch of Philly")
10 oz box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained of excess liquid
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used 2 slices of bread and zapped them in my Magic Bullet and added some salt/pepper/garlic/Italian herb mix)
1 tsp olive oil
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta for 4-5 minutes (it will continue cooking in the oven) and drain. Meanwhile, cook bacon. Let drain on paper towels and set aside.
While bacon is cooking, melt butter in medium saucepan. Sauté onion until tender. Add salt, pepper, and mustards. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add milk and stir constantly until thickened and simmering. Melt in cheese. Add spinach and stir to contribute evenly in cheese sauce. Taste and adjust salt and spices as needed. Remove from heat.
Spray 8x8 casserole dish with cooking spray. Add pasta and bacon and then pour cheese sauce over the top. Stir to combine.
Toss breadcrumbs + spices with olive oil. Sprinkle on top of pasta.
Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.
I really liked it! It had tons of great flavors going on with the smoky bacon, creamy cheese sauce, the tang of the spinach and the sweetness of the onion. Yum.
Micah and Silas seemed to really like it.
Aaron thought there was too much spinach but overall, tasty.
Benji had a good attitude about eating it but it took him a while.
Personally, I can't wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow for lunch!