Total Time
1hr 15mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr

Studded with spinach, topped with feta cheese, and infused with a hint of cinnamon, this savory casserole is based on a recipe from New York City chef Michael Psilakis. I have tweaked just a bit. You may add more veggies if you like(mushrooms and zucchini are good). Adapted from Saveur magazine(issue#129).

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 slices crustless whole wheat bread, torn into small pieces
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 8 ounces hollow pasta (penne or elbow macaroni)
  • 14 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 cups grated graviera cheese (about 12 oz.-you may sub Romano OR Pecorino cheese ) or 4 cups kefalotyri cheese (about 12 oz.-you may sub Romano OR Pecorino cheese )
  • 34 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 18 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large shallots, finely chopped (or 4 small red onions)
  • 14 cup chopped red bell pepper (or orange or green)
  • 16 ounces Baby Spinach, roughly chopped
  • 8 scallions, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 13 cup roughly chopped fresh dill
  • 1 34 cups crumbled feta (about 8 oz.)


  1. Put bread into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Put bread crumbs and 3 tablespoons butter into a small bowl and combine; set aside.
  2. Bring a 6 quart pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until cooked halfway through, about 3 minutes. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining butter in a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Still whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in milk and cook until sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove pan from the heat. Stir in cheese, cinnamon, and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper; set bechamel sauce aside.
  4. Heat oven to 350°. Heat oil in a 5-qt. pot over medium heat. Add shallots and bell peppers and cook, stirring often, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add spinach and scallions and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in the reserved bechamel sauce, the dill, and the reserved pasta and move the mixture to a 9" x 13" baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with reserved bread crumbs and the feta.
  5. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Most Helpful

Lip smacking good! Loved the hint of cinnamon in the background. I made one change in that, I used panko crumbs instead of the whole wheat. Personal preference. I also used the suggested macaroni pasta and the Pecorino Romano cheese. Made for Everyday Holiday Tag. :)

Lori Mama December 30, 2010