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DwardCooks Alfredo Mac and Cheese with Cubetti Speck

Want a satisfying crowd-pleaser meal you can make in 20 minutes? Of course! It’s the week before Christmas. Dubbed “Christmas Mac and Cheese” by my four year old, the smoky speck, garlicky spinach, and creamy parmesan cream sauce makes this a bowl of comforting cheesy goodness.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: mac and cheese, speck
Servings: 8


  • 4 oz. Citterio Speck Cubetti
  • 7 cups Cashew Milk unsweetened no sugar added
  • 1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 14.5 oz Barilla ProteinPlus Pasta Elbows
  • 1.75 oz Parmesan Cheese Grated
  • 6 oz Trader Joe’s Lite Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 oz Neufchatel Cheese
  • 6 cups Fresh Spinach
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Pepper


  • Add 6c of cashew milk and 1 tbsp of kosher salt to a pot, and cook the pasta directly in the cashew milk.
  • In a bowl (or shaken in a jar) combine the flour and remaining cup of cashew milk. Slowly stir into pasta pot. Bring to a boil and cook pasta until al dente, stirring occasionally. You should see the cashew milk thicken.
  • Heat a pan and add the speck. Saute speck until the fat starts to render (about 3 minutes)*. Add minced garlic and spinach. Using tongs, toss spinach until spinach is wilted (about 2-3 minutes)
  • If your kids hate spinach but like the idea of eating “Christmas bacon mac and cheese” as my oldest called it, reserve some spinach-free speck for them before adding the spinach.
  • While spinach cooks, fold in all the cheese to pasta pot. It is easiest to do this one cheese at a time. Start with the cream cheese to make sure it is fully melted before adding Parmesan. End with the mozzarella because it is stringy.
  • Mix in the spinach and speck. Taste the pasta with the speck and spinach before adding salt, pepper, or garlic powder. The flavors are strong and can be easily over seasoned.
  • Optional: finish mac and cheese in a broiler until golden brown. Alternatively, you can make this ahead of time and reheat in the oven at 350, covered, for about 25-35 minutes.