I am into carbs. And cheese. So mac + cheese? Love.
He made me a card.
Although it’s not a complicated recipe, it is time-consuming and it makes a lot of pans dirty, so it’s not a weeknight kind of meal. But it was totally worth the effort and time.
The salty feta cheese and the slight sweetness of the caramelized onions are the perfect balance. The artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach add more flavor and they’re vegetables, so you can feel less guilty about all that cheese.
Just to be safe, I filled half my plate with steamed broccoli to help fill me up before I went back for seconds on this cheesy goodness.
But come on — can you resist a bit of this?
Greek Macaroni + Cheese with Sun-dried Tomato, Spinach, and Artichokes
- 1 head garlic
- 1 leek, thinly sliced (only the white and very light green part)
1/2 of a sweet onion, chopped
- 16 oz pasta (I used rigatoni
- 11 oz feta cheese (buy it packaged in brine)
- 1 C asiago cheese, shredded
- 1 C fresh baby spinach, chopped
- 2/3 C milk
- 1/2 C sun dried tomatoes, chopped
- 6 oz artichoke hearts
- 1/3 C heavy cream
- 3 T butter
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 T flour
- 1 t Greek oregano (not Mexican oregano)
- 1/2 t rosemary
- 1/2 t pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and a teaspoon of the olive oil in a large saucepan until the butter melts. Add the onions and the leeks and stir so that they’re coated in the oil butter mixture. Cook on medium-low until onions and leeks are caramelized and a nice brown color.
Cut the top 1/4 off of the head of garlic. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the garlic, wrap in foil and roast it in the oven for about 30 minutes. Once it’s fragrant and dark golden, remove from oven and allow it to cool. Squeeze the garlic out of the peel.
Preheat the oven to the lowest broil setting.
Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a small frying pan and saute the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes until spinach is wilted. Remove and set aside.
Boil water and cook the pasta 8-10 minutes, until al dente. Remember, you’re going to bake the pasta for a bit so it’s okay if the noodles aren’t completely soft. You don’t want them to get soggy. Drain and set aside. Save the pot for combining all the ingredients.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat until melted. Whisk in the flour until fully incorporated. Add the milk and cream and continue to heat until hot, but not boiling. Add the oregano and rosemary and mix well, then add the asiago cheese, crumble the feta into the pot, and stir until the feta is just beginning to melt.
Toss the pasta with onions and leek, roasted garlic, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts in the pot used to boil pasta. Add cheese sauce until and stir until combined. Add the pasta to a deep baking dish and broil on low 5-10 minutes until it is lightly browned on top.