Greek Macaroni and Cheese
Contributed by World Recipes Y-Group
- Serves 4 – 6
- 1 pound macaroni
- ½ pound spinach, washed and stemmed
- 1½ pounds crumbled feta cheese (about 6 cups)
- 2⅓ cups whole milk
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ⅔ olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- ¾ tsp minced fresh rosemary
- 2 tsp minced fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
- ½ cup pitted and coarsely chopped black olives
- ½ pound cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup mixed chopped fresh herbs
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil.
- Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Blanche the spinach: bring 4 quarts of salted water to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- Have ready a large bowl of ice water and slotted spoon.
- Add the spinach to the simmering water (in three or four batches) and submerge it.
- Let it cook for about 15 seconds, remove with the slotted spoon, and plunge into the ice water.
- Let the spinach cool completely, drain it, and squeeze out the excess water. If the leaves are large, chop then into bite-size pieces. Reserve.
- In a blender or food processor, puree the feta cheese with the milk, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend in two batches, if necessary. This will not be completely smooth; there will be very small chunks of cheese remaining.
- Stir the cheese mixture into the cooked pasta, then add the minced rosemary and thyme, the garlic, red pepper flakes, , cherry tomatoes, and blanched spinach.
- Place in a 9 by 13-inch baking pan and sprinkle with the grated parmesan cheese and the mixed herbs.
- Bake on the middle shelf until the pasta is heated through and the top is slightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.