Kale White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

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We received a huge bunch of beautiful kale from a friend’s garden this week, so in honor of college football's return I wanted to turn the kale into Saturday football food...you know, comforting, cheesy goodness! I start by using a whole wheat pasta. Next incorporate a vegetable and plenty of flavor. The best way to add incredible flavor is using fresh garlic, good cheeses, fresh grated nutmeg, and a few other spices. Lastly, baking your mac and cheese for a few minutes adds texture and enhances the flavors!

 

Ingredients

  • 1lb whole wheat pasta
  • 1-2 Tbsp butter
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar, grated
  • 1 cup gruyere, grated
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Roughly half a bunch of kale, chopped
  • Wheat breadcrumbs

 

Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta until al dente. Strain and rinse with cold water and set aside. In a large cast iron skillet heat the butter. Sauté the onion for 3-5 minutes over medium heat, or until tender and golden. Add the garlic and sauté another 2 minutes, until fragrant. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden. Slowly whisk in the milk while cooking over medium heat. Stir in the cheeses, whisking until melted and creamy. Add the nutmeg, cayenne, black pepper, and salt. Bring to a slow simmer, and then stir in the pasta and kale. You may have to transfer the mixture to a 9x13 casserole dish if the cast iron skillet is over flowing. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over mac and cheese. Bake for 10-20 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and breadcrumbs have browned.