This dish has become a firm favourite in our house. To be fair we both have a little bit of an obsession with spinach. Mainly frozen spinach as it is so easy to throw into a dish. Growing up we didn’t eat pasta all that often as my Mum wasn’t a fan, I’m now married to a pasta enthusiast so I like to come up with different dishes so things don’t get too boring.
I was a vegetarian for 13 years before eating meat again and my brother used to wind me up and say “everything is better with bacon”. When I started to eat meat again I foolishly declared that bacon was overrated. I know. I apologise and fully admit I’m wrong. Bacon goes with everything!
There is a reason behind the inverted commas. That’s because we rarely make this dish with macaoroni, we use whatever pasta is in the cupboard and it’s normally the 20p dried penne.
So with the combination of our two favourite ingredients and a shed load of cheese what more could you ask for from a meal? Oh yeah, it’s super easy too.
Spinach & Bacon “Mac” ‘n’ Cheese.
– Serves 4 –
25g plain flour
300g dried pasta
150g cheddar cheese
155g bacon lardons, fried
200g frozen spinach
Pre-heat your oven to 200ºC/Gas 6.
Cool your pasta according to pack instructions. Add in the frozen spinach 2 minutes before the end of cooking. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium pan over a medium heat.
Once the butter has melted stir in the flour and cook for a minute or so.
Add the milk little at a time whisking continually, you may need to alternate between the a spoon and whisk to ensure your sauce is lump free.
Once your sauce is thick, take of the heat, add seasoning and 100g of cheddar cheese. Stir into the sauce until melted.
Add in the cooked spinach and the fried lardons. And stir.
Add the pasta to the pan and mix well.
Transfer the pasta to a ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the remaining 50g of cheese.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden. (We like to leave it a little longer so the pasta on top goes crispy.
Serve with side salad or thick buttered bread.