Saturday, November 2, 2013

Bacon, Mac, & Greens

Pasta has always been my go to meal; it's cheap, and you can add so many different flavors to it!  Mac and cheese is a favorite in my house.  Cheese is a great way for me to hide veggies that my kids would normally turn their noses up at; like collards and squash (or in this case, pumpkin).  Last night just so happened to be a mac and cheese kind of night.  I could write a big long blog post about how my great grandmother's uncle's dog came up with this recipe, but if you are here, you probably want me to get right to the point.  So here it is, my recipe for Bacon, Mac, & Greens:

1 box of noodles (I had rotini)
1 pound (or bunch) of collard greens (spinach would work here too)
1 large yellow onion
1 package of bacon (I had turkey bacon on hand, pancetta would work too)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup of cheddar or white cheddar
1/2 cup of Welsh cheddar
1/2 cup of Gruyere cheese
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/2 cup of beer or ale
1/2 stick of butter
2 tbsp of pumpkin puree (or squash)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut your bacon into bite size pieces.  In a skillet, add your bacon.  If you use turkey bacon, add just a little oil so it doesn't dry out.  Cook until the bacon is crisp, over medium high heat.  Remove the bacon from the skillet (leaving your grease), and put to the side.  Next, chop up an onion into small pieces (about the size of your bacon pieces).  Wash your greens and remove the stem.  Cut into small pieces (I like to roll the leaves up and slice).  Add the onions to your greased skillet and begin to cook, over medium high heat.  After the onions begin to become translucent, add the collards, and add about 1/8 cup of water.  You'll cook those until the greens become tender, over medium heat.  Add a little water as needed if your greens become dry.
As the collards and onions are cooking, boil your pasta water (salt it too!) and cook your pasta until it is al dente.  Once cooked you will drain the pasta.  Save a few tablespoons of the pasta water, put aside.
For the cheese sauce, you'll begin by heating your beer and butter together; bring to a boil to ensure the alcohol is cooked out.  Next add the Velveeta (cubed), Gruyere cheese, and pumpkin.  Once the cheese has melted, add the hot sauce and Worcestershire.  Stir well.  Next, add your nutmeg, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
In a bowl, mix everything together (pasta, sauce, greens, and bacon).  Use your reserved pasta water to help keep the pasta and sauce from becoming clumpy.  Spread your pasta and cheese mixture into a greased baking dish.  Next, spread your breadcrumbs over the top of your mac.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350, or until the bread crumbs begin to brown.
This recipe will feed 4-6 people depending on if you serve as a side or main course (and how hungry your bunch is!).  Make's a great lunch on day 2!


Victoria Sconion said...

I love this recipe! I think it would work perfectly in our home even though we have food allergies ; I can sub the pasta with gluten-free pasta. Thank you!

Found you through couponing with food stamps group on facebook! :D

Kate Tabers said...

Thanks for stopping by! Pasta is such a great vessel for so many ingredients. You can sub almost anything and come up with a great meal!