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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Greek Macaroni and Cheese

I just happened to have all the important ingredients for this. Below is the recipe, which is from Nora Poullon, a Washington DC restaurateur. I simplified by cooking greens and macaroni together, then mixing in the rest of the ingredients. So only 1 dirty pot. I used a lot less feta than called for also. And I did not have the herbs. It made a lot, which is good, since I leave the house tomorrow at 7 and get home at about 6.

I did have the cherry tomatoes, but I would sub some chopped canned tomatoes if I did not. Hope it sounds good to you.

Greek Macaroni and Cheese


1 lb macaroni
½ lb spinach, washed and stemmed
1 ½ lbs crumbled feta cheese ( about 6 cups)
2 ½ cups whole milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2⁄3; cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped (optional)
½ lb cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup mixed chopped fresh herbs ( such as parsley, thyme, and rosemary)


Preheat oven to 350°; bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil; add in macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes until al dente; drain and place in a large bowl.
To blanch the spinach: bring 4 quarts salted water to a simmer over med-high heat; have ready a large bowl of ice water and a slotted spoon; add spinach to simmering water (in three or 4 batches) and submerge it.
Let cook about 15 seconds, remove with the slotted spoon, and plunge into the ice water; let spinach cool completely, drain it, and squeeze out the excess water; if the leaves are large, chop them into bite-sized pieces; set aside.
In a blender or food processor, puree the feta cheese with the milk, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper (blend in two batches, if needed); this will not be completely smooth; there will be very small chunks of cheese remaining.
Stir the cheese mixture into the cooked macaroni; then add the minced rosemary and thyme, garlic, red pepper flakes, olives, cherry tomatoes, and blanched spinach.
Transfer mixture to a 13x9 inch baking dish; sprinkle with parmesan cheese and the mixed herbs.
Bake on the middle shelf 25-30 minutes until the pasta is heated through and the top is slightly browned.

I found the recipe in this wonderful cookbook.


Duchesse said...

That does seem like a lot of cheese, wonder if it is b/c it's feta, which has a higher water content? (Plus you have the parmesan, too.) I usually use a 1:1 ratio, a pound of pasta to a pound of cheese. I'd probably chop the spinach to half-bite size, though cannot explain why. Suspect the herbs would make a difference,same used in a Greek salad, giving it that similar seasoning.

Shelley said...

Sounds like heaven to me! I'm jotting it down on an index card to pull out next time we have a 'cheese' night! Thanks so much!