Macaroni & Cheese with Collard Greens
Creamy decadence in a bowl with the added flavor of sautéed collard greens. Can't go wrong with cheese, greens, and pasta!
READY IN 60 MIN
1 lb pasta, whichever shape you prefer
3 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. flour
2 cup milk
8 oz. mixed cheeses, about 2 grated cups
Salt and pepper, fresh grated nutmeg to taste
1 cup breadcrumbs, (optional, if you want an extra crispy crust!)
To coat one pound of pasta in béchamel, use three tablespoons butter with three tablespoons flour to make roux. While you make this mixture, heat two cups of milk so that it is more easily incorporated. Melt butter. Then incorporate flour with a whisk or rubber spatula. The mixture will bubble and brown. It is important to keep stirring, so that the flour browns evenly.
When the mixture resembles wet sand, slowly add your warm milk while whisking. Once all the milk is incorporated bring to a simmer (while you continue whisking). You will notice the mixture start to thicken. Reduce your heat and continue stirring until the mixture is smooth. If any lumps form, simply whisk thoroughly to remove them and smooth out sauce, or use a hand blender or countertop blender if lumps are particularly large or tough.
Choose a few types of cheese to make the flavor more complex, or stick to one kind if that’s what your kids like… this is a great opportunity to use up those ends in your deli drawer.) Cook pasta al dente, 2-3 minutes less than the packages recommended cooking instructions, in salted water. Drain the pasta and flush with cold water, to stop cooking. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to prevent sticking, and reserve at room temp until your béchamel is ready.
Dice onions and sauté them in butter or olive oil at medium high heat. After a few minutes, they should start to brown and stick to the bottom of the pan. Add some wine (or water or stock, whichever you prefer), 1/2 cup at a time, and wash the brown sugars off the pan’s bottom. Do this until the onions (and stems if you added them) are fully cooked and brown, or caramelized. Then add the chopped collards. Reduce your heat and satue the greens until they are soft, about 10 minutes. If they do not yield enough water to keep them cooking without burning to the bottom of the pan, add more liquid (water, wine or stock) 1/4 cup at a time, and make sure it is all cooked off by the time the greens are fully cooked. Serve with bubbly mac n cheese!