Baked Macaroni and Cheese With Kale and Great Northern Beans
photo by Izy Hossack
- Ready In:
- 2 1⁄2 cups milk (low-fat is fine)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bunch kale (any kale or chard will do)
- 1 lb pasta, elbow, shell, ziti
- 1 (15 ounce) can of northern white beans, drained
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it.
- Cook the milk with the bay leaves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When small bubbles appear along the sides, about 5 minutes later, turn off the heat and let stand.
- In the salted water, cook the pasta al dente. Drain it, rinse it quickly to stop the cooking, and put it in a large bowl.
- Trim the stems from the kale. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add kale. Boil kale for one minute, remove, and set aside to cool. Squeeze excess water from kale and chop into edible pieces.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter; when it is foamy, add the flour and cook, stirring, until the mixture browns, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves from the milk and add about 1/4 cup of the milk to the hot flour mixture, stirring with a wire whisk all the while. As soon as the mixture becomes smooth, add a little more milk and continue to do so until all the milk is used up and the mixture is thick and smooth. Add the cheddar and stir.
- Pour the sauce over the noodles, toss in the Parmesan and kale, mix in the white beans, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Use the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to grease a 9 x 13-inch or similar-size baking pan and turn the pasta mixture into it. Top liberally with bread crumbs and bake until bubbling and the crumbs turn brown, about 15 minutes. Serve piping hot.
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<img src="http://www.offthecuffphotography.info/Personal/kitchen 1-12-08 035 tiny.jpg"> <img src="http://www.offthecuffphotography.info/Personal/WILD NOV 1 2007 018 resized tiny.jpg"> Me in my kitchen, and at the Wild game. I am a photographer, portrait and fine art, and I am a yoga instructor. Besides cooking, I enjoy fitness and yoga, reading, organizing, gardening, puzzles, family, and HOCKEY. GO WILD!!!! I love to cook for my large husband...he is a natural powerbuilder and has a lot of muscle to feed. People ask how he got so "huge" and he has to answer, my cooking of course! We both work out a lot, so we eat a lot of healthy food...I cook a LOT! The recipes I post and save to my cookbooks are usually healthy and lower calorie, or can be adapted to be so. <img src="http://www.offthecuffphotography.info/Personal/Garlic tiny.jpg"> <img src="http://www.offthecuffphotography.info/Personal/Press It tiny.jpg"> Garlic is the best! <img src="http://www.offthecuffphotography.info/Personal/Kitchen Series Jan 2008 210 EDIT GRIT BORDER tiny.jpg"> <img src="http://www.offthecuffphotography.info/Personal/Kitchen Series Jan 2008 192 HARD LIGHT ILL GRIT BORDER2 tiny.jpg"> Yummy veggies!