I was at Liz and Jan’s house last week, and Liz had made this for dinner the night before, which I ate as leftovers. Delicious! And what a great way to use turnip tops. This would be quite tasty contrasted by the sweetness of sauteed carrots, or the acid and crunch of a salad with vinaigrette. Either way, who doesn’t enjoy a good Mac’n Cheese?
1 LB Conchiglie Pasta or another large shell shape
2 1/2 cups Whole Milk
2 Shallots, sliced thin (I bet you could use the white portion of the leeks and that would taste fantastic!)
1/2 tsp fresh ground Pepper
1/4 tsp fresh ground Nutmeg
2 bunches radish or turnips Greens or dark, leafy greens of choice. So the arugula, or spinach, and do just one bunch of turnip greens
4 TB unsalted Butter
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
8 oz grated Gruyère cheese
4 oz grated sharp Cheddar
4 oz Parmesan, divided
Preheat oven to 400 F. Boil a large pot of salted water and cook the pasta according to instructions for al dente. Strain and place cooked pasta in a buttered 9 x 13” baking dish. Set aside. Meanwhile, set a large saucepan over medium heat, add milk, shallots, and nutmeg. The mixture should be hot and steamy, but not bubbling at all - adjust heat as needed. Once the mixture is hot, add the greens a few handfuls at a time and blanch until nicely wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with tongs, allowing milk to drip off greens. Set aside in a bowl. When all the greens have been cooked, set in strainer used for the pasta, and strain milk to collect all the shallots and greens. Press remaining liquid back into the milk mixture. Pour warm milk into a bowl or measuring cup. When greens are cool enough to handle, chop. Set aside. Set the same saucepan used for the milk over medium heat. Add the butter, and when melted, whisk in the flour. Stirring constantly, add warm milk a little at a time, allowing mixture to re-thicken as you go. Once all the milk has been added, cook for 4 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and add all the Gruyere, Cheddar and half the Parmesan; stir until smooth. Fold cheese mixture and chopped greens in with the cooked pasta making sure greens are evenly distributed. Top with remaining Parmesan, and several twists of black pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and edges on the top is golden brown. Cool briefly, then serve.