Prep 25 mins
Cook 30 mins
Spinach and pasta mixed with the most delicious cream sauce, topped of with a breadcrumb/cheese topping, then baked in the oven. Your gonna love this one! Prep time includes boiling the pasta.
- 8 ounces penne pasta, uncooked (spiral pasta may be used instead of penne)
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 3 -4 fresh minced garlic cloves (I use lots of garlic!)
- 1⁄4 cup onion, chopped (optional)
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg
- black pepper
- 2 1⁄2 cups half-and-half cream or 2 1⁄2 cups milk
- 1⁄2-3⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 1⁄2 cups grated swiss cheese, divided
- 1 large tomatoes, chopped into small pieces (can use more if desired)
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained (squeeze out any excess moisture with your hands)
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1⁄4 cup melted butter
- 2 -3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Set oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 13" x 9" baking pan.
- Cook the pasta only to firm-tender (don't overcook, as the pasta will cook more when baked in the oven) according to package directions (omit the salt in the water); drain, set aside.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over med-high heat.
- Add in the chopped onion (if using) and the garlic; saute for 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the flour, thyme, nutmeg and black pepper; cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Gradually whisk in the half and half; cook for 4 minutes, until thick and bubbly.
- Add in the grated Swiss cheese, and the Parmesan cheese; mix well over low heat, until the cheese has melted, and the sauce is hot and bubbly; remove the saucepan from the heat.
- In a large bowl, combine the cream/cheese sauce, 1/2 cup of the remaining Swiss cheese (it is not necessery to add the remaining 1/2 cup cheese, you may omit if desired), chopped tomato, and the spinach; stir well.
- Spoon the mixture into a prepared greased baking pan.
- In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, melted butter and the Parmesan cheese.
- Sprinkle the mixture over the casserole in the baking pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
- Note: this recipes calls for NO salt, as the grated Parmesan cheese produces enough salty taste, but if you do choose to add salt, add just a small amount (to taste with the cream sauce) at a time, otherwise it tends to get too salty.
OMG !!!!! Thank you for this awesome recipe , I made it as posted except I left out the nutmeg because were not big fans of it ,I substituted oragano instead and the tomato I didn't have any but other than that stayed true to the recipe I did double it . And made one addition of my own I added about a pound and a half of Italian sausage to the sauce and it's to die for it got a thumbs up from my family. This recipe will be made lots of times at my house !
Thanks So Much .......Wilma
This was pretty easy to make, but I found it to be a bit bland... it just needed a little tang from something. When something has that much cream and cheese, it needs to knock my socks off. I cooked the sauce in the same pot as I used to cook the pasta. Then I skipped the extra bowl and just mixed everything in the pot before pouring into the baking dish. I used the whole tsp of thyme and 3 plum tomatoes, but it still needed something more.
This was OK but not one of my favorites....hubby agreed it was just OK........don't think i would make it again.