This recipe combines flavors of classic steak house side dishes: creamed spinach, sautéed mushrooms, and blue cheese dressing.
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons salt
8 ounces uncooked whole-wheat penne pasta or macaroni
3 bacon slices
10 ounce mushrooms, quartered
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (5-ounce) packages fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Coat 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish with 1 teaspoon oil. Set aside.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil; add salt and pasta. Cook for 6 minutes or until just barely tender. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl; reserve 1 cup cooking liquid.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Add mushrooms to drippings in pan; cook for 8 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add pepper, garlic, and spinach (in batches); cook 3 minutes or until spinach wilts, tossing occasionally.
Combine yogurt and cheese in a large bowl, stirring until almost smooth. Add pasta and mushroom mixture; toss to combine. Stir in 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid (or more if mixture looks dry). Spoon pasta mixture into prepared dish. Combine crumbled bacon, panko, and parsley. Drizzle with remaining 3 teaspoons oil; toss to combine. Sprinkle evenly over top of pasta. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
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I was weary of the dish being 'too watery' or 'too dry'.. However, it turned out fantastic. I added 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the mixture. We have a vegetarian in the family, so I made half of the casserole bacon-free. The flavor still came out good without the bacon. I used medium sized shell pasta, and it worked out great to catch the blue cheese chunks. I will make again for a potluck.
very nice main dish, just added a rucola salad with tomatoes. I used kale instead of spinach and a mix of feta and gorgonzola, Otherwise stuck to the recipe. Pleasant flavor, and good to prepare in advance :)
This is an exceptional recipe! I followed it exactly and it always turns out great! It is one of our favorites, as we try to eat meals with less meat several times per week. With only about one slice of bacon per person, it definitely falls in that category. The flavor combination is absolutely great!
Lots of great flavors! In contrast to first reviewer ours was a little dry, so we'll add more cooking liquid next time. We followed recipe to the letter, using whole wheat penne. Could have eaten the whole thing between the two of us, but used restraint!