Casarecce pasta is a short noodle with a curled edge that provides a large groove to hold the creamy sauce. If you can't find it, use fusilli, campanelle, or radiatore. Use a large, deep pot for the pasta so the spinach will fit inside, as well.
10 ounce casarecce pasta or fusilli (short twisted spaghetti)
1 (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups chopped onion
1.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 minutes or until almost al dente, omitting salt and fat. Remove from heat; stir in spinach. Let stand for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Drain pasta mixture well.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add milk and wine; cook 8 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Stir in 3/4 cup cheese, salt, and rind. Remove from heat; stir in pepper. Add pasta mixture to onion mixture, and toss gently to coat.
Spoon the pasta mixture into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle half of panko breadcrumbs over pasta, and top evenly with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Sprinkle the remaining half of panko breadcrumbs over cheese. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until browned and bubbly.
Decided not to let the negative reviews sway me, and I made this last night, using some of the revisions suggested by others (more garlic, less onions, sauteeing onions longer, more spinach, more lemon, some chicken broth in place of some milk, decreased cook time...). While the revisions probably made the dish edible, that's all I can say for it. It still had no flavor, took a long time, and many different pots/cutting boards/measuring cups/spoons. The end result definitely did not justify the time and effort it took to make it. Probably wouldn't have eaten it, but my daughter was recovering from wisdom teeth removal and needed soft food, and I thought the protein from the cheese/milk and vitamins from the spinach would be good for her. And as far as the way the recipe is written, the person who created it must have been smoking crack. I know of no dish that doesn't involve raw meat that would need 50 minutes in the oven, and 4 cups of onions?? Really?? Yech. Throwing the recipe out.
The only reason that this recipe gets 1 star is because it wouldn't let me give it none. This recipe, although it looked good in the picture, was bland bland bland. This recipe was time consuming, and wasn't exactly the easiest dish to make and it came out inedible to say the lease. Don't do what my wife did and just think that the reviews don't tell the whole story, that the reviewer didn't follow the recipe right. No, this recipe is that bad. DON'T USE THIS RECIPE. LOOK ELSEWHERE FOR A PASTA DISH.
I agree - time consuming (many dishes to wash) and bland. Even my teenager who normally LOVES anything pasta said "meh." So I won't make this again. If I did, I'd definitely do something to jazz it up more - a quality sharp white cheddar might be a good sub for the parm.
was disappointed that the top layer of pasta was hard.I baked it for 50 minutes as the recipe stated. I did like the lemon flavor to the dish. will attempt this dish again---maybe 40 minutes in the oven instead??