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Creamy Spinach and Feta Macaroni and Cheese

We’d been planning to have a ham for a while. Roasts are a great dinner option, especially for a Monday. We eat it as a meal the first day, and the second day the leftovers get incorporated into something else. Bones get boiled to make soup suppers and there are only two more days to fill in the weekday. Easy peasy.

However, what was giving me trouble was the macaroni I’d decided to make. My independent thinker, also known as a kindergartner, had rebelled against several of my macaroni and cheese attempts in the past. They weren’t orange enough or they had pepper in them. They had melted cheese on the top. Anything and everything was a reason not to touch the creamy goodness.

Tonight, however, I won. I made a homemade macaroni and cheese recipe he could not refuse, and then I smiled at the wonderment of it all. Who knew all it took was the “cut spaghetti” shape to convince the boy that this is what he wanted?

Spinach and Feta Macaroni and Cheese

5 cups fresh spinach
1 lemon, juiced
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
3 1/2 cups milk
kosher salt to taste
1 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 cups cheddar, shredded
3/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
1 pound macaroni-style pasta or cut spaghetti, cooked to al dente

Toss lemon juice and spinach. Heat in microwave or over stove in a small saucepan just until it starts to wilt. Set aside. Over medium heat, melt butter in a large saucepan. Whisk in flour and continue cooking for 3 minutes until lightly browned. Slowly whisk in milk and add in salt and oregano. Begin adding cheddar in small amounts, stirring until melted between each addition. When all the cheese is melted stir in the feta. Mix in cooked macaroni and spinach. Serve immediately sprinkled with extra feta if desired.

Makes 10-12 servings.

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