Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins
I saw this last night on 30 Minute Meals and had to post. I love Rachael's "Fast Fake-Baked Ziti" and this is similar but with extra, yummy stuff!
- 1 lb cavatappi pasta
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- black pepper
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 1⁄2 cups 2% low-fat milk
- 1⁄2 lb capicola, sliced into thin ribbons
- 1 (10 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- 1 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated and divided
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 lb fresh mozzarella ball, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1⁄2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Preheat broiler.
- Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the pasta, salt the water and cook to al dente.
- While the water is coming up to a boil for the pasta, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 T olive oil and the butter.
- When butter melts into the oil, add onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes then dust the onions with flour and continue to cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in milk.
- Gently bring milk to a bubble, allow the milk to thicken a bit, then stir in the capicola, spinach and 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano. Season sauce with nutmeg and cayenne and remove from the heat.
- Combine the cooked pasta and the cubed mozzarella with the sauce, stir to coat completely by turning over and over. Transfer dressed pasta to a baking dish.
- To make the breadcrumb topping, combine the breadcrumbs, 2 T olive oil and the remaining 1/2 cup Parmigiano.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the pasta to cover from edge to edge.
- Place the baking dish under the broiler and broil until golden brown and crispy.
- Garnish with chopped parsley.
5 Stars ! My Fanatical Pasta Cristic DH approves.. He said it was "nice and I like it" that's really pretty good going for someone who nutoriously stingy with compliments when it comes to pasta. I used spiral pastas becuase the range is reasonably limited here in NL and ham sold in packages of thin strips.. I used a bit more spinach because one of our (metric) sized boxes seems too small and two was a bit much but I didn't want to to be too sparce. I used more milk than stated, probably necessary due to the additional spinach, and I used half Gouda and half fresh block Parmigiano in both the mixture and the topping becuase DH says that all Parmigiano on every pasta dish gets a bit boring after a while. The addition of the mozzarella ball pieces was a nice touch and this was easy to make. Please see my rating system: 5 wonderful stars for a recipe that DH was not only happy to eat but also asked if we could have again sometime. I call THAT Success ! Thanks!