Fancy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Fancy Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese

 

Macaroni and Cheese is a staple in our home. We eat macaroni and cheese at least once a week because it is one of my husbands favorite dishes and because in Dental School sometimes you need a pick me up.

 

Macaroni and Cheese with tomatoes and spinach

 

This Fancy Baked Macaroni and Cheese is absolutely delicious because it is filled with wonderful cheesy flavors, fresh tomatoes and spinach, and crunchy homemade breadcrumbs. 

 

Fancy Macaroni and Cheese

 

Homemade Breadcrumbs

2 pieces of mountain bread

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon pepper

 

First, preheat oven to 400° and dice the 2 pieces of bread into little cubes.

 

Place the bread pieces in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then mix in ¼ teaspoon garlic powder and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

 

Homemade Bread Crumbs

 

Place the bread on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with oil. Bake for 3 minutes on the top rack, then flip the bread crumbs using a spatula and bake for another 3 minutes, or until golden brown on all sides.

 

Let cool until ready to serve.

 

Fancy Pasta with Vegetables

 

Fancy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups dried pasta

1 large garlic clove

1 medium tomato

1 packed cup spinach

½ stick butter

3 tablespoons half and half

¼ cup of milk

¾ + ¼ cup monetary jack cheddar cheese

¼ cup havarti cheese

¼ cup grated parmesan

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

¼ cup blue cheese

1 dash dried basil

1 dash black pepper

1 dash salt – dependent on how much blue cheese you added on top – it can have a bit of a bite!

 

 

First, cook the pasta according the package instructions, but slightly undercook the pasta by about 3-4 minutes – the pasta will continue to cook in the oven later.

 

Vegetables and Garlic in Macaroni and Cheese

 

While the pasta is cooking, mince 1 large garlic, dice 1 medium tomato, and wash the spinach – I also made the spinach a bit smaller at my husbands request… I’m thinking he thought if they were smaller they might disappear altogether!

 

Once the pasta has cooked, drain the pasta – do not rinse it – and return the pasta to the pot onto the eye that was hot. Also, preheat the oven to 350°.

 

Next, melt in ½ stick of butter into the pasta. Then add 3 tablespoon of half and half and ¼ cup of milk.

 

Macaroni and Cheese

 

Mix in ¾ cup of monetary jack cheddar cheese, ¼ cup havarti cheese, and ¼ cup grated parmesan.

 

Then blend in 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.

 

Next, incorporate the tomatoes, spinach, and garlic and pour the pasta into a casserole dish – ours was about 10 by 7 inches.

 

Baking Macaroni and Cheese

 

Then sprinkle on the ¼ cup of monetary jack cheddar cheese, a little bit of blue cheese – we used about ¼ cup, and a dash of crushed basil, salt, and black pepper.

 

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

 

Bake the pasta for 15-20 minutes, and then broil it for about 3 minutes – but watch carefully so that it doesn’t burn.

 

Fancy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

 

Top with breadcrumbs and a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper!

 

Fancy Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. Ingredients for Homemade Breadcrumbs
  2. 2 pieces of mountain bread
  3. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  4. ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  5. 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  6. Ingredients for Fancy Baked Macaroni and Cheese
  7. 2 cups dried pasta
  8. 1 large garlic clove
  9. 1 medium tomato
  10. 1 packed cup spinach
  11. ½ stick butter
  12. 3 tablespoons half and half
  13. ¼ cup of milk
  14. ¾ + ¼ cup monetary jack cheddar cheese
  15. ¼ cup havarti cheese
  16. ¼ cup grated parmesan
  17. 1 teaspoon salt
  18. 1 teaspoon pepper
  19. ¼ cup blue cheese
  20. 1 dash dried basil
  21. 1 dash black pepper
  22. 1 dash salt – dependent on how much blue cheese you added on top – it can have a bit of a bite!
Instructions
  1. Directions for Homemade Breadcrumbs
  2. First, preheat oven to 400 and dice the 2 pieces of bread into little cubes.
  3. Place the bread pieces in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then mix in ¼ teaspoon garlic powder and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Place the bread on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with oil. Bake for 3 minutes on the top rack, then flip the bread crumbs using a spatula and bake for another 3 minutes, or until golden brown on all sides.
  5. Let cool until ready to serve.
  6. Directions for Fancy Baked Macaroni and Cheese
  7. First, cook the pasta according the package instructions, but slightly undercook the pasta by about 3-4 minutes – the pasta will continue to cook in the oven later.
  8. While the pasta is cooking, mince 1 large garlic, dice 1 medium tomato, and wash the spinach - I also made the spinach a bit smaller at my husbands request… I’m thinking he thought if they were smaller they might disappear altogether!
  9. Once the pasta has cooked, drain the pasta – do not rinse it – and return the pasta to the pot onto the eye that was hot. Also, preheat the oven to 350°.
  10. Next, melt in ½ stick of butter into the pasta. Then add 3 tablespoon of half and half and ¼ cup of milk.
  11. Mix in ¾ cup of monetary jack cheddar cheese, ¼ cup havarti cheese, and ¼ cup grated parmesan.
  12. Then blend in 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  13. Next, incorporate the tomatoes, spinach, and garlic and place in a casserole dish – ours was about 10 by 7.
  14. Then sprinkle on the ¼ cup of monetary jack cheddar cheese, a little bit of blue cheese – we used about ¼ cup, and a dash of crushed basil and black pepper.
  15. Bake the pasta for 15-20 minutes, and then broil it for about 3 minutes – but watch carefully so that it doesn’t burn.
  16. Don’t worry about leftovers, you probably won’t have any left!
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