Macaroni & Cheese with Spinach

3 Cheese Macaroni with Spinach | brownpaperbelle.com{Ingredients}
400g Macaroni (or elbow) pasta
1 head of silver beet
2 Cloves of garlic, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil

Cheese Sauce
20g butter
1/2 cup flour
2 1/4 cups milk
375g low fat ricotta cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup parmesan
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Topping
1/4 Cup parmesan
1/4 Cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons oil

{Method}
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Separate leaves from stems of silver beet.  Finely dice the stems and put aside.  Place a large saucepan of water to boil on the stove.
2. Plunge the leaves into the water once boiling and blanch for 2 minutes until leaves are bright green.  Remove from water with tongs and drain, squeezing out excess moisture once cool enough.  Keep water on the boil.
3. Place in a bowl and blitz with a hand blending until the spinach forms a puree.
4. Place the diced stems and garlic in a large frypan with the oil and heat over a medium heat.  Sautee for a few minutes until the stems have softened.  Remove from heat and mix through spinach puree.  Set aside.
5. Place the macaroni into the boiling water.
6. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, make a roux with the butter and flour, allowing the butter to melt and form a dough with the flour.  Continuously stir over a medium heat for 2 minutes.
7. Remove from the heat while you add approximately 1/2 cup of milk and whisk until smooth.  Return to heat and gradually add the remaining milk, whisking continuously.
8.  Keep heat at medium and continue to whisk until sauce has thickened slightly.  Turn off the heat.  Mix through the three cheeses.  Taste, and then season with salt and pepper if required.
9.  Remove macaroni from boiling water and drain well.  Empty drained pasta into cheese sauce and stir well to coat the pasta.
10.  Rub one large or two smaller baking dishes with butter.  Spread a thin layer over the bottom of the baking dish with the macaroni mixture.  Spread a thin layer of spinach over the top.  Top with another layer of the cheesy macaroni.
12.  In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan and oil and sprinkle over the top layer of macaroni.
13. Place into the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

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