Today, I’ll be sharing with you my son’s favorite homemade baked macaroni recipe (well, actually he loves baked macaroni no matter where it comes from, so this is just a "greener" version which he loves too). He loves tomato-based pasta and I like making our own, and adding more greens in there to make it more wholesome for the family. I tried using healthier ingredients and though I don’t have this dish’s caloric measurements, I’d say this is a relatively healthier version than the ones you can find in fast food joints. Enjoy!
250 grams San Remo Veggie macaroni pasta, boiled with oil and salt
¼ K lean pork giniling (you may use beef giniling too of course—I just like to use pork because it’s less greasy)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup shredded spinach
½ cup shredded malunggay or alugbati
1 pack Del Monte spaghetti sauce
1 can crushed tomatoes
salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, basil, ½ to 1 tspn sugar (depending on preferred taste)
1 cup grated mozzarella, cheddar or Monterey Jack, parmesan as toppings (try to opt for low-sodium varieties)
For the béchamel sauce:
4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 cups low-fat milk
salt and nutmeg to flavor
- Saute garlic, onions in olive oil.
- When softened, add pork giniling. Saute until cooked. Then, add mushrooms.
- Add all the seasonings.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir and let it boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add greens. Add additional salt if necessary, and add sugar to balance flavors.
- Turn off heat to avoid overcooking the veggies.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Combine the cooked pasta with the sauce and mix well.
- Spread onto oven-safe dish.
- Pour Bechamel sauce evenly onto the macaroni.
- Sprinkle the cheeses on top.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
Procedure for Bechamel sauce:
1. Put butter onto heated pan.
2. Slowly add flour and mix well until it turns into a sandy yellow color.
3. Add milk, while whisking continuously until it boils.
4. Add salt and nutmeg. Whisk until smooth and remove from heat.
5. Pour evenly onto macaroni.