My turn to host this weeks recipe!
Had a hard time picking a recipe but luckily my hubby was there to point his finger at a couple for me. The nutritional goodness of spinach in a comforting creamy casserole. Exactly what it was. The sauce was a little runny still...after I left out the additional pasta water the recipe indicated to add. Non the less we all ate it up and I will be making it again.
Now for the recipe:
Be sure to squeeze the spinach thoroughly so it is as dry as possible.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2), trimmed and sliced thin
- 1 onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups 1 percent lowfat milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry, and chopped coarse
- Salt and pepper
- 8 ounces whole-wheat penne
- 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken, break up any clumps, and cook until lightly browned but not fully cooked, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Add the remaining tablespoon oil to the skillet and return to medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
4. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
5. Return the chicken with any accumulated juice to the skillet. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute. Off the heat, discard the bay leaf and stir in the Parmesan and lemon juice. Stir in the spinach, breaking up any clumps, until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water (I used 3 quarts) to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until almost al dente but still firm to the bite. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
7. Add the chicken-spinach mixture and reserved cooking water to the pasta and toss to combine. Pour the pasta into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
To Make Ahead
After draining the noodles in step 6, rinse them under cold water until cool. Assemble the casserole as directed with the cooled pasta, cooled sauce and pasta water mixture, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 day. To serve, cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in a 425-degree oven until the sauce begins to bubble, about 15 minutes, then remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese is lightly browned, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
We all know that the spinach is the major benefit in this dish.
Spinach is one of the top best foods you can eat. There are so many health benefits that come from eating spinach, such as: good diet, vision, skin, and bones. To eat more spinach each day see the right side of my blog for juicing. Also check out this website for more tips on spinach. 11 Health benefits of spinach
Bon appetit to Spinach!