With the holidays quickly approaching, we’re all about that cozy, feel-good food. Indulging on favourites this time of year is part of the magic that makes the season so enjoyable, especially when we get to spend time with family and reconnect over good food. This dish is definitely one we’ll be making on repeat this winter, without a doubt.

Mac and Cheese is a personal favourite of both of ours (and many of you too, we’re sure). And if our waistline permitted, we’d probably eat it every week! This version is lightened up somewhat, omitting the cheese altogether (stay with us here!), and subbing in heavy cream.

We used Catelli’s Smart Veggie Macaroni in this recipe, which sneaks the goodness of carrots and cauliflower into Catelli’s Smart white pasta. In addition to fibre, it also provides half a serving of vegetables, which means it’s way too good to not make it a pasta night!


Creamy Mushroom and Kale Macaroni Bake

Servings 4
Author The Food Gays


  • 2 cups Catelli Smart Veggie Macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil plus more, if needed
  • 50 g speck thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white onion finely diced
  • 1 cup button mushrooms diced
  • 2 cups kale stems removed, finely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup panko flakes
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, add oil to a pan on medium-high heat. Cook the speck until crisp, about 1 minute on each side. Set on a plate to cool.
  3. In the same pan, add another drop or two of oil, if needed. Add the onion, and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the mushrooms. Cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt, to taste. Add the kale, and let cook another 1 minute, just until it has begun to wilt. Add the cream to the pan, and season with more salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Heat oven to 350.
  5. Once noodles are cooked through, drain water and add to the pan with the cream sauce. Toss well to coat. Add to a greased oven proof dish or ramekin of your choice (we used small cast iron pans for ours, which worked great as vessels to keep the dish nice and hot while serving). In a bowl, combine panko flakes, parmesan cheese and season with pepper. Break up the pieces of speck with your hands and add to the bowl. Toss everything together until well combined, then top the macaroni.

  6. Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

For more delicious recipes like this one, be sure to check out Catelli’s 150 Anniversary Collection.

Disclaimer: Sponsored by Catelli. All opinions are ours.