This dish owes its creaminess to a layer of tangy sour cream. Make it on a Sunday afternoon, and enjoy leftovers for another meal during the week. Or you can assemble the casserole, refrigerate overnight, and bake shortly before serving.
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded smoked farmer or mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
Heat marinara sauce in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add salt, pepper, and spinach, stirring until blended; cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in cooked pasta.
Spoon half of pasta mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine sour cream, smoked cheese, and basil; spread over pasta mixture in dish. Spoon the remaining pasta mixture over sour cream mixture; sprinkle evenly with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
This is a favorite, but you definitely need to enjoy the flavor of sour cream to enjoy this recipe. We serve it with grilled chicken. Be sure that the smoked cheese is spread throughout because it is that flavor that makes it special.
This was good, but not fabulous. I was craving cheesy and creamy, but this was too creamy. The portion I served my husband was swimming in sour cream. If I made this again I would half the sour cream and add Italian sausage.
Even if I had not made some substitutions I still think that this would be a good, solid recipe. I used smoked gouda instead of smoked mozzarella as well as my own marinara sauce instead of store-bought so perhaps that is why I didn't taste much smoky flavor but it was still very tasty and flavorful. I took the advice of an earlier poster and added a dash of nutmeg to the spinach mixture. Also, I used a whole-grain penne and ran out of sour cream so I used mostly light yogurt. If I had eaten immediately, I think that it would have been dry but I let the dish sit overnight so it wasn't but a bit more sauce would have been nice.
This is very easy and quick to put together. The leftovers are great for lunch. I was surprised that this went on the boyfriend's "favorites" list. Although the spinach was regarded with suspicion initially, I guess he decided there was so little of it he could give it a try. Now he requests this recipe often.