Baked Gnocchi Mac and Cheese with Spinach

Should I call this a casserole? I’m not really sure what makes a casserole… a casserole. This is about 100 times better than any casserole I’ve ever eaten, but it does kind of look like one. You can decide on that one.

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I usually make homemade gnocchi, like I did here, but I had this whole wheat version that I bought out of curiosity at the Italian Centre Shop and then kept forgetting about, so I decided to finally put it to use. I looove homemade mac and cheese, so I decided to try combining the two, and then added spinach to make myself feel better. Just because you are a broke college student it does not mean you need to resort to “KD” if ya know what I mean.

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This recipe fits firmly into the “comfort food” category, which if you read this blog often, you will know is a category that I am very fond of. I am especially fond of it right now, since I am fighting a cold and feeling a bit under the weather and it is SO cold outside (AKA I want to be in bed at all times but can’t be).

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I think this is actually a lot healthier than your standard homemade (or store-bought) mac and cheese. I mean, it has a bit of butter, a bunch of cheese, and a lot of carbs, but a girl can only restrict herself so much, you know? It is melty-cheesy-creamy delicious, and you need that once in a while (at least I do).

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Baked Gnocchi Mac and Cheese with Spinach 

Makes two servings

1 tbsp Butter

1 tbsp All Purpose Flour

1 cup 1% Milk

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Pepper

1/4 tsp Worchestershire Sauce

1/4 tsp Dried Mustard Powder

1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated

1 1/2 cups Uncooked Gnocchi (homemade or store-bought)

1 tsp Olive Oil

2 – 3 handfuls Fresh Spinach

1 tbsp Panko Breadcrumbs

1 tbsp Parmesan Cheese, grated

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and then whisk in the flour until smooth. Gradually add the milk; stir in the salt, pepper, worchestershire sauce, and dried mustard powder. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking for 1 – 2 minutes until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add in gnocchi. Cook until gnocchi floats to the top of the pot, then remove and add to pot with cheese sauce to combine.

4. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat, add in a couple of handfuls of spinach and cook until just wilted. Combine with gnocchi and cheese sauce.

5. Spoon gnocchi mixture into a medium baking dish (I actually used a loaf pan) and top with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.

6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese sauce is nice and bubbly. Top with salt and pepper to taste,  and serve hot.

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