Recipe by ratherbeswimmin'
From Chef Nora Pouillon, chef-owner of Washington, D.C. restaurants Nora and Asia Nora.
Top Review by cheiranthus
Outstanding! I simplified, cut down on the amount of olive oil and number of ingredients to get the creamy dish I wanted. Also, used oregano instead of the other herbs and added more garlic. This recipe adaptable, based on taste/what you've got on hand - and isn't that the definition of a really good recipe?
- 1 lb macaroni
- 1⁄2 lb spinach, washed and stemmed
- 1 1⁄2 lbs crumbled feta cheese (about 6 cups)
- 2 1⁄2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2⁄3 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 3⁄4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1⁄2 cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped (optional)
- 1⁄2 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1⁄4 cup mixed chopped fresh herb (such as parsley, thyme, and rosemary)
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 350°; bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil; add in macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes until al dente; drain and place in a large bowl.
- To blanch the spinach: bring 4 quarts salted water to a simmer over med-high heat; have ready a large bowl of ice water and a slotted spoon; add spinach to simmering water (in three or 4 batches) and submerge it.
- Let cook about 15 seconds, remove with the slotted spoon, and plunge into the ice water; let spinach cool completely, drain it, and squeeze out the excess water; if the leaves are large, chop them into bite-sized pieces; set aside.
- In a blender or food processor, puree the feta cheese with the milk, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper (blend in two batches, if needed); this will not be completely smooth; there will be very small chunks of cheese remaining.
- Stir the cheese mixture into the cooked macaroni; then add the minced rosemary and thyme, garlic, red pepper flakes, olives, cherry tomatoes, and blanched spinach.
- Transfer mixture to a 13x9 inch baking dish; sprinkle with parmesan cheese and the mixed herbs.
- Bake on the middle shelf 25-30 minutes until the pasta is heated through and the top is slightly browned.