11 November 2008

Purple Macaroni & Cheese

We went out to dinner with Andrew's dad and stepmom to ML in Chagrin Falls. We absolutely adore the restaurant, and this meal was no exception. Ann and I decided to eat a bunch of appetizers for dinner, which turned out to be a great idea. One of our leftovers was an amazing habanero goat cheese topped with blueberry preserves. Ann insisted I take it home, so I decided I had to figure out a great way to use it.

Here is the goat cheese:

My purple macaroni and cheese was easy to make, and beautiful too! Of course, you could use any cheese you have on hand. Because of the habanero, this mac & cheese was a bit spicy, and yet a bit sweet from the blueberry preserves. It definitely made an interesting combination.

1/2 lb. rotini or pasta of your choice
6 oz. habanero goat cheese
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. flour
1 big handful fresh spinach

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Cook according to directions on box - until slightly al dente.

In the meantime, melt butter in saucepan and add flour. Whisk to combine flour & butter, creating a roux. Add heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Slowly whisk in goat cheese a little at a time, melting and whisking to combine. When all goat cheese has been incorporated, allow to come back to a simmer - do not boil.

Add spinach to pasta water, allow to wilt. Drain pasta and spinach and add to sauce. Toss all ingredients to combine. Garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, if available.

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