Saturday, March 28, 2009

Simple Pasta Casserole

I'm sure i'm not the only one who sometimes decides to cook something just cause they need to finish off some ingredients that they have laying around. Well thats how this recipe started out.. i've made it twice now, with the same basic idea .. and then some depending on what you need to get rid off.

lets just call this one ... Spinach Pasta Casserole

Firstly boil whatever pasta you need to use in some salted water/ i use 1 stock cube and not too much water (probably 400gm only needed - just boil a 500gm pack and remove a handful after its done).. al dente. Drain and toss with some oil or butter so it doesnt stick. when well drained lay out in a casserole dish.

in a pan, fry up some bacon - abt 150 gms till lightly browned, remove and drain... or you could use cooked ham or turkey or boiled chicken breast.

then saute in olive oil, 2 medium onions chopped, after 2 mins add some chopped frozen spinach about 2 handfuls or 300gms, add a half tsp dried dill or 1 tsp fresh ... some nutmeg, black pepper and some salt abt half tsp. saute for abt 3 mins... remove mix well with the bacon/ham/turkey/chicken - you can add mushrooms, cooked peppers, stewed tomato... whatever you please... mix everything with the cooked pasta.. make sure they dont all just fall to the bottom of the casserole dish, better for the stuff to be onthe top part of the dish...

ok now heat up some milk .. i just pop 2 mugs of milk into the microwave on low.. make sure it is just heated up and not boiling... in the meantime.. melt 50gm butter in a pot, once melted add 1.5 tbsp flour.. stir till combined... abt 1-2 mins... pour first mug milk in.. mix well.. once combined, add 2nd mug, stir ... add half tsp salt, some onion and garlic powder, lots of nutmeg and black pepper, stir well... let simmer on low for another 2-3 mins.. remove from heat and let to cool.

in mean time.. sprinkle grated cheese about 3 or 4 handfuls on top of the pasta and mixed ingredients.

now back to the white sauce - add 200gm of cream (not sweetened type), mix well, add 2 eggs, make sure the sauce is cooled down otherwise egg will cook, and thats not what we want!!.. mix well... pour over pasta dish. use a chopstick and stick it into the dish and wiggle it around a bit so the sauce kinda gets a little bit into the dish and not just on the top, but thats optional. now sprinkle 2 handfuls of grated parmesan on top. (optional to add the parmesan later... midway through the baking, so it wont burn) or just add it in the beginning and watch.. if it is burning.. put the dish lower or lightly cover the top with foil

bake for an hour at about 175C
remove from oven and let sit for at least 1 hour before serving... (it will still be hot ... ) it takes at least 3 hours to fully cool down.

*will add a photo soon, but there is only 15% left of the dish! hahaha....

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