Awesome Penne Spinach Bake

READY IN: 55mins
SERVES: 6
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition

DIRECTIONS

  • 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.