recipe: ham, tomato and spinach macaroni cheese

Two weeks in a row I’ve gone without Nigella and it’s starting to feel weird now, but I’ve been loving the food I’ve tried. One of my favourite food magazine’s is Super Food Ideas for which I bought my Dad a subscription for Father’s Day (I’m so smart). Every time a new issue arrives, I pour over it and pick out all the food I want to make (usually the dessert themed foods) but then I make only one. So this is my one: Ham, Tomato and Spinach Macaroni Cheese

Serves 4 
50g butter, chopped
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups reduced-fat milk
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 cups grated Bega So Extra Light tasty cheese
300g dried macaroni pasta
100g shaved leg ham, sliced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
50g baby spinach
2 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs

Method
1.
 Preheat oven to 200 degrees (180 degrees fan forced). Grease a 5cm-deep, 24cm (base) square baking dish.
2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes or until foaming. Add flour. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute or until mixture bubbles. Remove from heat. Add milk, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly to prevent lumps forming. Return pan to medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in mustard and 1 cup cheese.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water, following packet directions. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl. Add ham, onion, tomato, spinach and cheese sauce. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into prepared dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve.

As usual, I made a few slight alterations. For starters, none of this “reduced-fat” stuff, it was full cream milk and normal tasty cheese. I also used a small brown onion instead of green onions and wholegrain mustard instead of dijon (because that’s what I already had and I didn’t see the point in buying dijon mustard when I only needed one tablespoon) and packet breadcrumbs instead of fresh. It’s not that difficult of a dish to make but I would suggest that you start boiling the water for the pasta before you do anything else. And while that’s happening, prepare the ham, onion and cherry tomatoes so that you can pay more attention to the cheese sauce.

What the magazine one looked like:

This is what mine looked like:

It was delicious. I love homemade mac and cheese (really not that big a fan of Easy Mac) and this recipe was a simple but tasty way to mix it up a bit. If I were to change anything, I’d add more cheese on the top, but other than that, will definitely be making this again.

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2 comments

  1. the Jilb · May 22, 2012

    Delicious!

    I’m the same way. As soon as my food magazine comes, I love to pour over it and pick something to make, usually dessert-related. 🙂

    • moniquefischle · May 22, 2012

      It’s always dessert-related, best part of every meal haha

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