of my kids, Cassidy and Aidan, love to eat mac and cheese,
so instead of using that boxed stuff we make our own. We keep
the kids' version pretty basic, then I add sautéed
spinach and fontina Val d'Aosta to ours, bake it until brown,
and drizzle it with white truffle oil. We all sit down together
to have virtually the same dish, only the kids have theirs
minus the stinky cheese and the green stuff. The kids drink
cranberry juice from their wine glasses and we have Barbera
d'Asti in ours.
lb. dry pasta, preferably cavatelli
Tablespoons parmesan cheese
cup heavy cream
cups fontina cheese
bunch spinach, washed and chopped
Tablespoons truffle oil
time: 40 minutes
Preheat oven to 400° and adjust rack to middle of oven.
Fill a large saucepan with 4 quarts of water, add salt, and
bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 10 to 15 minutes
until al dente.
Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in
a saucepan, add flour, and mix well. Stir in milk, salt, pepper,
and nutmeg and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly
with a whisk until the mixture boils. Allow to boil briefly.
Stir in the cream and cheese, and cook until the cheese is
melted (for the kids' version I use cheddar or American cheese
and set theirs aside). Melt half a tablespoon of butter in
a sauté pan, then add the spinach and allow it to wilt.
Set aside to cool. Combine the sauce, spinach, and pasta and
mix well, then place in a buttered oven-proof ceramic dish,
top with parmesan cheese, and bake 35 to 40 minutes uncovered.
To serve, place pasta on a plate and drizzle with truffle