Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Test Kitchen : Pasta and Spinach Gratin

Me and hubby are trying to go vegetarian one day a week. Our vegetarian terms are pretty loose. Just no meat. Eggs allowed. :) Some vegetarians out there might curse us. Sorry, we're not true vegetarians.

So I have been trying out vegetarian recipes just to not get bored. This recipe was adapted from IVillage.

Ingredients :
1 lbs tubular pasta (penne, ziti or rigatoni)
3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs minced garlic
1/2 ts crushed red pepper (if you like it hot, increase to 1 ts)
6 cups fresh baby spinach
1 pinch kosher salt (or to taste)
1 cup cream
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese

Method :
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9x13 rectangular casserole dish or large oval gratin dish.

Bring a stockpot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until just a little less than al dente, according to package instrucions, and drain.

While the pasta water comes to a boil, heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium low heat. Add the garlic and crushed pepper and cook, stirring for 1 minute before adding the spinach. You may need to add the spinach in batches, stirring to wilt the leaves and make room before adding another handful.

When the spinach has cooked down, season with a pinch of salt. Stir in cooked pasta. Also stir half of the grated cheese.

Pour the spinach and pasta mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Pour the cream over the pasta and sprinkle the rest of grated cheese on top.

Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until the top of the gratin is golden brown and crunchy and the cream sauce is bubbly.