Greens Mac ‘N’ Cheese

March 11, 2020 Updated: March 11, 2020

Greens Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Swap spinach out for any kind of exciting fresh or frozen greens, discarding any tough stalks. I also sometimes add breadcrumbs to the top for a bonus crunch. Tasty!

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves 6

  • 1 large leek
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 14 ounces broccolini
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh thyme (1/2 ounce)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups reduced-fat (2 percent) milk
  • 16 ounces dried macaroni
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese
  • 5 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 3 1/2 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 3/4 ounces flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Trim, halve, and wash the leek and peel the garlic, then finely slice with the broccolini stalks, reserving the florets for later. Place the sliced veg in a large casserole pan over a medium heat with the butter, then strip in the thyme leaves and cook for 15 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly. Stir in the flour, followed slowly by the milk, then simmer for 10 minutes, or until thickened, stirring regularly. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water for 5 minutes, then drain.

Grate the Parmesan and most of the Cheddar into the sauce, and mix well. Tip into a blender, add the spinach, and whiz until smooth—you may need to work in batches. Season to perfection with sea salt and black pepper, then stir through the pasta and broccolini florets, loosening with a splash of milk, if needed. Transfer to a 14- x 10-inch baking dish, grate over the remaining Cheddar, and scatter over the almonds. Bake for 30 minutes, or until beautifully golden and bubbling.

Excerpted from “Ultimate Veg: Easy and Delicious Meals for Everyone” by Jamie Oliver. Copyright 2019 by Jamie Oliver. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by David Loftus.