Cheesy Shells and Greens
12 ounce(s) medium pasta shells
1 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
2 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup(s) whole milk
1 tablespoon(s) Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly grated or ground nutmeg
Pinch cayenne (optional)
6 ounce(s) extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (1 1/2 cups)
Kosher salt and pepper
1 bunch(es) spinach, thick stems discarded, leaves roughly chopped
1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes; whisk in the milk. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 5 minutes.
3. Whisk in the mustard, nutmeg, cayenne (if using), 1 cup Cheddar, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add the pasta and spinach and toss to combine.
4. Transfer the mixture to a 1 1/2-qt broiler-proof baking dish or four 12-oz ramekins. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar and broil until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
Tips & Techniques
Add a crispy bread crumb topping to this dish: Pulse 4 slices bread in a food processor to form coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle over the pasta before broiling.
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