Posted by: inyomouth | November 11, 2009

Baked Pasta Casserole

oct_20

Hey there healthy meal!  101 Cookbooks is one of my favorite food blogs because most of its recipes are nutritious and use interesting ingredients.  This recipe, however, is one of her more “simple” ones but still FULL of flavor.  If you love lemon, you’ll love how it complements the pasta, almonds, and mozzerella in this meal.

Baked Pasta Casserole

adapted from 101 Cookbooks

Ingredients
extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound whole wheat pasta shells (I used corkscrew pasta)
sea salt
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups well-chopped fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds, lightly toasted
zest of 2 lemons
8 ounces mozzerella, shredded or torn into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter/oil a large casserole dish or baking pan – something roughly equivalent to 13×9-inch pan.

Boil the pasta in salted water per package instructions. Drain pasta, toss with a glug of olive oil. Set aside.

In the meantime, heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Saute the onions with a couple pinches of salt for a few minutes (or if you want a bit more depth of flavor until caramelized). Stir in garlic. Stir in spinach. Cook for just about 20 seconds, until the spinach collapses a bit. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the almonds and 1/2 of the zest. Add to pasta and stir and stir – mixing extremely well, a minute or so.

Now sprinkle the bottom of baking dish with the rest of the zest. Add a layer of the pasta to the bottom of the baking pan, now sprinkle with some of the cheese, add more pasta, then more cheese. Finish with a layer of cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese on top is bubbly and melty. Serve sprinkled with the remaining almonds.

(Serves 8)

_K

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