Creamy Macaroni with Sweet Potato Greens

There is nothing that makes me feel more accomplished as a cook than when I fly completely sans net and crank out a delicious dinner.  That was exactly what happened this evening, so my chest is quite swollen with pride right now.  Behold!  Creamy macaroni with sweet potato greens!

Specifically, that is my toddler’s plate.  She ate all of it and then another serving of equal size.  The kid loves the macaroni and greens, what can I say? You will need:

16 oz package of large elbow macaroni

Drizzle of olive oil

1 bunch sweet potato greens, stems removed, leaves sliced into strips

1/4 c butter

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c flour

2 c milk

1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning

So I didn’t exactly cure the common cold here, it was actually pretty simple.  Start by cooking a 16 oz package of large elbow macaroni according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute one bunch of sweet potato greens in olive oil until wilted.  I removed the stems and chopped the greens into thin strips prior to cooking.  I also added a handful of arugula that I had left over from our box.  It only takes a minute or two for the greens to wilt down and become soft.  Remove the greens from the pan.  In that same skillet, melt 1/4 c (half a stick) of butter.  Add to that a couple cloves of garlic and cook over medium heat until fragrant.  Add 1/4 c flour to the butter and whisk until smooth (3 minutes or so).  Slowly slowly slowly add 2 cups of milk to the butter mixture, whisking the entire time.  See the primer on creating a white sauce if you need a little refresher on how to make this work.  Let the sauce cook until it begins to thicken, about 3-5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Whisk in about 1/2 c of parmesan cheese.

Add the sauce and greens to the macaroni and mix to combine.  Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.  Serve with more parmesan cheese, if desired.

My husband declared this simple white sauce to be “better than the kind you buy in jars.”  I took it as a pretty big compliment.  And since I used skim milk, I saved a lot of fat and calories.

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