White Cheddar Shells with Spinach and Bacon

Yields: About 6 servings


8 ounces small pasta shells
4 slices bacon (or more)
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 + 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups freshly shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 packed cups baby spinach, stacked and cut into thin ribbons
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan cook bacon until crispy. Set aside to cool.

Drain the grease from the pan. Add the butter and melt over medium low heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the flour and cook 1 minute stirring. Slowly add the milk and heavy cream. Turn the heat up and bring to a simmer. Simmer 3 – 4 minutes, stirring often.

Turn the heat down to low and add the cheddar, salt, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is melted and then remove from heat.

Stir in the spinach, Parmesan and drained pasta.

Crumble bacon and mix in (reserving some to sprinkle on top). Season with more salt and pepper if needed.