I love a gigantic bowl of comforting pasta but I also love finding ways to sneak extra veggies into dishes. Anyone that’s read my previous post about my epic Mac N Cheese will know what this dish means to me but having played about with it, I can honestly say this one holds up as a firm favourite!
I’ve blended spinach and kale into the sauce which not only makes it extra nutritious but I love the colour of it too!! I added garlic to the roux and poached the salmon in the same milk I then used for the cheese sauce which just adds to the overall
flavour of the finished dish.
I doubled the recipe below and made enough for 4 and took two portions with me to work to have as microwaveable evening meals. To do this, I set aside the cooled pasta, cooled the salmon and half the sauce separately and assembled all three elements into Tupperware completely cold. They microwaved really well and absolutely made my week on a food front! Happy days!
Green Macaroni Cheese
Whole black peppercorns
2 salmon fillets
Generous handful of spinach
Generous handful of kale
150ml boiling water
1 clove of garlic, finely grated
4 tbsp plain flour
100g mature cheddar cheese or Parmesan, grated
Extra spinach and Parmesan to serve
1. Fill a medium saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Cook the pasta for one minute less than the packet instructions. When the pasta is cooked, drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the pasta continuing to cook.
2. Pour the milk into the saucepan with the bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to a gentle simmer.
3. Add the salmon to the milk and poach for 7 minutes. Carefully remove from the pan and set aside on a small plate.
4. Remove the bay leaf and peppercorns from the milk but keep the milk ready for the cheese sauce.
5. Add the spinach and kale to a blender and add the 150ml boiling water. Leave to wilt for a couple of minutes and then blend until smooth.
To make the cheese sauce:
6. Melt the butter in the saucepan you used for the pasta (a fresh one is fine- just trying to save the washing up!).
7. Add the garlic and cook on a low heat for 2 minutes before adding the flour and cooking for a further 3-4 minutes. It should form a thick paste.
8. Start to add the milk to the pan (about a quarter to start) and blend into the butter and flour mix until there are no lumps.
9. Continue adding the rest of the milk (you may need a whisk) until you’re left with a smooth, thick sauce.
10. Add the grated cheese and stir until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Take the blended spinach and kale and add to the cheese sauce. It’ll turn your sauce an epic green colour!
11. Stir the pasta into the sauce and add flaked pieces of the poached salmon, ensuring everything is piping hot before serving!
I like to have this in bowls with raw spinach at the bottom which gets wilted by the hot pasta as you add to the bowl! A also rarely say no to extra cheese on top.....