Salami, Spinach, and Smoked Gouda Macaroni & Cheese

Makes 8 servings

1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
8 ounces dry Italian salami, diced
6 cups (about 4 ounces) fresh baby spinach
1 pound lined penne
8 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
6 cups whole milk
4 cups (16 ounces) smoked Gouda cheese, grated
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.

2. Place breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil, and mix with your fingertips. Set aside.

3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onion and saute 3 minutes or until softened. Add diced salami and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add spinach and stir until just wilted. Remove from heat.

3. Cook pasta in salted water, about 2 minutes short of being fully cooked; it will finish cooking in the oven. Drain the cooked pasta, but do not rinse.

4. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour. Gradually add milk, whisking continuously until it reaches a boil. Add the cheese and crushed red pepper flakes, and stir. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until thick and bubbly.

5. Add the parsley, salami mixture, and cooked pasta, and stir until well combined. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top evenly with the breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the cheese sauce is bubbling around the edges.

Recipe created by Susan Russo of Food Blogga.