Lightly Cheddared Spinach Ricotta Mac And Cheese

March 16, 2011

Author Notes: For this I was looking for creamy mac and cheese without an overpowering cheddar bite. The ricotta smooths it all out, the cayenne and white pepper gives a warm bite, plus my husband will eat anything that has spinach in it.inpatskitchen

Makes: 4 to 6 servings


  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • A few gratings of nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup grated medium cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 3 handfuls ( or more) fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 8 ounces ziti or shells, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 cup grated medium cheddar for the topping
In This Recipe


  1. In a medium sauce pot melt the butter and whisk in the flour to make a light roux.
  2. Over medium heat, slowly add the milk while continually whisking. Whisk until the mixture thickens.
  3. Add the nutmeg, cayenne, basil, salt and pepper and stir. Stir in the the ricotta and cheddar until melted
  4. Stir in the spinach leaves and stir the mixture until the spinach wilts.
  5. Combine the cooked pasta with the cheese spinach mixture and turn into small shallow casserole dish ( I used a nine inch round ceramic baking dish). Sprinkle the 1/2 cup cheddar over the top.
  6. Bake at 350F for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly.

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