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REC: Four-Cheese Spinach Macaroni--Had to have 2 starches to fill up 17-yr-old nephew who runs XC!

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2028 posts
Joined: Mar 10, 2006


Posted to Thread #13418 at 3:13 pm on Jan 13, 2009


12 ounces penne pasta
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 cups whole milk
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8-oz) container mascarpone cheese
1 (4-oz) package crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 (10-oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained or squeezed dry
1 cup soft breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted

Cook pasta according to package directions, and drain. Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add garlic, and saute 1 minute. Gradually add milk, and cook until thoroughly heated. Gradually stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and the next 6 ingredients; whisk until smooth. Stir in spinach. Add cooked pasta, tossing to coat. Spoon into a lightly greased 13" by 9" baking dish.

Thoroughly combine breadcrumbs, remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and 2 Tbsp melted butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle breadcrumb topping over macaroni. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until golden.

Fresh Spinach Substitution: You can substitute a 10-ounce package of fresh spinach instead of using frozen spinach, if desired. Just wash the spinach, trim stems, and coarsely chop the leaves. Then wilt the leaves for 1 to 2 minutes in hot water in a pan.

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