Dolcelatte Macaroni Cheese with Crunchy Hazelnuts

It’s almost the new year, and I can already hear the salad tongs clapping and the juicers powering up with detoxing and cleaning up in mind, so before we all look to the virtuous and healthy, I want to take a single post to celebrate the season of abundance, eating with abandon and delicious food!

The turkey had been gobbled, the sprouts had been chestnutted and the canapés had been devoured.  We wanted an antidote to what we have eaten so much of, and pasta seemed like the way forward.

With a crisp green salad, this creamy blue cheese version of the standard Mac ‘n’ Cheese felt decadent, delicious and a little bit different with its deeper flavour and crunchy hazelnut topping.

Sophisticated TV dinner

Sophisticated TV dinner

Ingredients – Serves 4

500g pasta (I used penne rigate)

200g Dolcelatte cheese, rind removed

50g parmesan

1 tblspn flour

1 tblspn butter

500ml milk

100g washed organic spinach

handful of breadcrumbs

50g chopped roasted hazelnuts

Method

Preheat your oven to 200C.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, blanch the spinach for a few seconds to wilt, remove it from the water and drain well and set aside. In the same water, cook the pasta according to the packet, drain and set aside.

In a saucepan melt the butter, and add the flour.  Keep stirring over a medium heat for a couple of minutes, then gradually add the milk, stirring all the time.  Continue to stir over the heat for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the dolcelatte in chunks and 3/4 of the parmesan.  Stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth, then remove from the heat.

Stir the sauce and the spinach (you may need to tear it up a little) through the pasta and put the mixture in a baking dish.  Top with the breadcrumbs, the remaining parmesan, and the hazelnuts, then pop it all in the oven for 15 minutes or until the top is bubbling and golden.

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Categories: Warming Winter Meals

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