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.
Baked Pasta with Spinach, Lemon, and Cheese
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.
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1 Hour, 33 Minutes
- Calories: 396
- Fat: 8.2g
- Saturated fat: 3.5g
- Monounsaturated fat: 3.1g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5g
- Protein: 18.4g
- Carbohydrate: 63.3g
- Fiber: 4.9g
- Cholesterol: 17mg
- Iron: 3mg
- Sodium: 611mg
- Calcium: 325mg
- 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
- Cooking spray
- 3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°.
- 2. 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.
- 3. 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.
- 4. 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.
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