I love cream based baked pasta dishes and I love spinach, so the idea of mixing them together has always intrigued me.
I found a recipe online that was a good start, but by the time I made changes to make it healthier and to accommodate what was in my fridge, my Baked Spinach and Noodles really was its own recipe.
This recipe is a cross between the noodle kugel I grew up with and baked creamed spinach. It’s not as creamy as mac & cheese, so if you want more sauce, just increase the white sauce (I would double it for a very creamy dish).
Baked Spinach and Noodles:
- 8 ounces noodles (wide egg noodles, penne or ziti)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 7 ounces milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- Cook noodles according to package directions.
- While noodles are cooking, make a white sauce. I always end up with lumps if I make it the traditional way so here’s how I do it: add flour to an 8 oz measuring cup, then add a small amount of milk to the flour. Stir until flour is absorbed and there are no lumps. Fill the rest of the measuring cup with milk so that the total amount is 8 oz. Melt butter in small pot, then add milk/flour mixture. Stir continually over med-high heat until the white sauce has thickened. Add salt & pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside. Of course, if you like putting the butter and flour in the pot and then the milk, that works too.
- In a frying pan, saute onion in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and continue cooking for 3 minutes, being careful to not let the garlic burn.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine noodles, cooked onions and spinach. Add a little white sauce to the beaten egg and then add egg mixture and remaining white sauce to the spinach and noodles. Add kosher salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Pour into casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray (I used a 2 quart dish, but an 8×8 inch dish should also work).
- Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese.
- Cook for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. If you like the noodles at the top to get a little crispy (that’s the way kugel was made in my house), then leave it uncovered. If not, then cover with foil in the last few minutes of baking.
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