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Skillet Mac & Cheese With Ham & Spinach

A delicious and nutritious recipe that anyone can make.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 3 cups brown rice elbows
  • 1 cup smoked ham steak, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 2 ¼ packed cups of grated extra-sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
  • 1 package (10 ounces pre-washed fresh spinach

Directions:

  1. <p>Combine the broth and 2 &frac12; cups water in a large deep-sided skillet and bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Stir in the pasta and boil uncovered for 3 minutes less than the minimum on package.</p>
  2. <p>Stir frequently with wooden spoon to cook the pasta evenly. Try to separate any pasta that sticks together &mdash; it&#39;s okay if a few noodles here and there stick, but you don&#39;t want a big ball bobbing around. And don&#39;t worry if some of the pasta sticks out of the water near the end of the cooking process &mdash; a lot of the stock and water will have evaporated at this point.</p>
  3. <p>Reduce the heat to medium-high. Stir in the ham and cheese. Add a dash of salt, plus as much pepper as you like.</p>
  4. <p>If there&#39;s a ton of sauce at this point, turn the heat down a notch and blend the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water in a separate cup and pour it into the sauce, cranking up the heat to medium-high again and stirring until the slurry is incorporated.</p>
  5. <p>Stir in the spinach. Continue cooking uncovered, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente (it still has a bit of bite) and the sauce is creamy and thick, about 1 to 3 minutes. If the sauce thickens too much before the noodles are tender, turn off the pot, cover it, and let the steam build-up cook the noodles for a few minutes.</p>
  6. <p>Transfer to large, shallow bowls and serve with a few extra grinds of fresh pepper.</p>

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