Derby Sage Mac and Cheese with Ham

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 10 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 55 min
 
YIELD: 6 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • Salt
  • 1 pound cavatappi hollow pasta curls or penne rigate or macaroni with lines
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 12 ounces crumbled Sage Derby (green-veined sage-scented Cheddar)
  • 12 ounces baked or boiled ham, 1/4-inch thick sliced, and chopped
  • One 10- to 12-ounce package frozen chopped organic spinach, defrosted and wrung dry
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
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Directions

Heat a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the boiling water and cook the pasta just shy of al dente, 5 to 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Melt the butter and when it foams, add the garlic and shallots, then season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the flour, whisk for 1 minute. Then whisk in the milk and thicken the sauce to coat the back of a spoon. Melt in the Sage Derby cheese, then add the ham. Separate the spinach as you stir it into sauce as well. Toss the pasta with the sauce, and pour into a casserole dish, top with the Parm. Cool and reserve for a make-ahead meal.

To serve, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake from room temp until brown and bubbly, 35 to 45 minutes.
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