Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cookish: Dinnertime

Spinach Pasta bake
Adapted from This Recipe from Rachael Ray Magazine


  • 1 1/2 lbs. baby spinach (I used frozen--a bag and a half)
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • sprinkle of nutmeg
  • 8 oz. wide whole wheat egg noodles
  •  Bechamel Sauce (see below)
  • 5-6 oz. fresh goat cheese (1 pkg)
  • 3 tbsp. prepared pesto
  • 1 1/2 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  1. Defrost the spinach and squeeze out any moisture. 
  2. In a large skillet, melt 2 tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir until golden, about 1 minute. Stir in the spinach. Season lightly with salt and pepper and nutmeg; remove from the heat.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, cook the noodles, stirring often, until al dente. Drain— but do not rinse—and return to the saucepan. Stir in the white sauce to coat.
  4. Lightly grease an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Layer in half of the noodles and press with a spatula. Dot with half of the goat cheese, spread the spinach on top and press down. Stir 3 tbsp. pesto into the remaining noodles and spoon over the spinach. Dot with the remaining cheese. Cover snugly with foil and bake until hot and bubbling, about 35 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the remaining 2 tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. sprinkle  the crumbs on the baked pasta.
    Note: I think you could just use some panko and brown the top of the casserole with the crumbs on at the end of baking. I did like the fresh crumbs--I'd suggest adding them directly to each serving, and storing any extra in a ziploc outside of the fridge so they don't get soggy. 

    • 2 tbsp. butter
    • finely chopped shallot
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 2 cups milk, warmed
    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
    • Salt and pepper


    1. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in warm milk; bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper.

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