Nov 5, 2012

Autumn Pasta Bake

Autumn Pasta Bake

I was flipping through a BBC GoodFood magazine while doing my weekly grocery shopping—something I do every three days, or so it seems—when my eye caught a pasta recipe that included spinach and walnuts. Bingo!

Those magazines cost E9,25 here! That’s a whopping $11,85. Absolutely crazy! Left the magazine at the store (seriously, it didn’t even include oven temperatures and their baking time was way off), and just incorporated those two ingredients into my recipe.

Turned out absolutely delicious. Kiddo devoured it even though he’s not crazy about spinach at all. Wonderful and flavourful spin on the more traditional mac and cheese.

 
Ingredients:

1 pound penne rigate
2 large leeks
4 oz spinach
1/2 small onion
1 garlic clove
3 oz butter
4 tbsp all-purpose flour (slightly heaping)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
5oz sharp cheddar
2 oz Gouda cheese (or another cheese of choice)
2/3 tsp salt
2 + 1/4 cups milk
3 oz walnuts

 
Directions:

Mince the onion, chop the garlic and grate the cheese.
Autumn Pasta Bake

 
You can use all cheddar as well. Or mix cheddar with a more flavourful cheese like Gruyère. I opted for an aged Gouda. Don’t I always?
 

Heat the butter and sauté the onion over low heat for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and give it another minute.
Autumn Pasta Bake

In with the flour and stir well. Give the roux a minute to neutralise the rawness of the flour.
Autumn Pasta Bake

Add the mustard powder, white pepper and 1 cup of milk. Whisk well. As soon as it thickens add another cup of milk. I added an extra 1/4 cup.
Autumn Pasta Bake

 
Let the sauce simmer for a minute or two.
 

Melt 2/3 of the grated cheese into the sauce.
Autumn Pasta Bake

Finish the sauce with salt and nutmeg. I grind my own nutmeg so it’s very potent, adjust to your own liking.
Autumn Pasta Bake

You can steam, blanche or even stir-fry your spinach. I choose to steam it in my colander over the boiling pasta water. Can’t do this with a plastic colander, obviously.
Autumn Pasta Bake

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add plenty salt and chop the leeks. Boil the leeks and pasta for 11 minutes.
Autumn Pasta Bake

 
Whatever you do, do not undersalt the pasta water!
 

Drain the pasta but don’t get rid of the cooking liquid. Place the pot back on the stove and bring it to a boil again.
Autumn Pasta Bake

Place the colander over the pot of boiling water. The spinach will wilt in two minutes or so, use tongs to toss it a little.
Autumn Pasta Bake

Transfer the pasta to a large baking dish (9×13) and spoon the cheese sauce all over.
Autumn Pasta Bake

Mix it in with the pasta until every piece of pasta has some of the sauce on it.
Autumn Pasta Bake

 
You want a bite, don’t you? Oh come on, admit it!
 

Mix in the wilted spinach.
Autumn Pasta Bake

Chop the walnuts. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 grated cheese over the pasta and finish it with the chopped walnuts.
Autumn Pasta Bake

 
Bake the pasta in a preheated oven at 175°C (350°F) for 25 to 30 minutes. Until golden brown and bubbly warm.
 

I served a nice, juicy grilled steak with it. It was perfect!
Autumn Pasta Bake

Autumn Pasta Bake
Ingredients
    1 pound penne rigate
    2 large leeks
    4 oz spinach
    1/2 small onion
    1 garlic clove
    3 oz butter
    4 tbsp all-purpose flour (slightly heaping)
    1/4 to 1/2 tsp white pepper
    1/2 tsp mustard powder
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    5oz sharp cheddar
    2 oz Gouda cheese (or another cheese of choice)
    2/3 tsp salt
    2 + 1/4 cups milk
    3 oz walnuts

Directions
    Mince the onion, chop the garlic and grate the cheese. Heat the butter and sauté the onion over low heat for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and give it another minute. Add the flour and stir well. Give the roux a minute to neutralise the rawness of the flour.

    Add the mustard powder, white pepper and 1 cup of milk. Whisk well. As soon as it thickens add another cup of milk. I added an extra 1/4 cup. Let the sauce simmer for a minute or two and melt 2/3 of the grated cheese in there. Finish the sauce with salt and nutmeg. I grind my own nutmeg so it’s very potent, adjust to your own liking.

    You can steam, blanche or even stir-fry your spinach. I choose to steam it in my colander over the boiling pasta water. Can’t do this with a plastic colander. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add plenty salt and chop the leeks. Boil the leeks and pasta for 11 minutes.

    Drain the pasta but don’t get rid of the cooking liquid. Place the pot back on the stove and bring it to a boil again. Place the colander over the pot of boiling water. The spinach will wilt in two minutes or so, use tongs to toss it a little.

    Transfer the pasta to a large baking dish (9×13) and mix it with the cheese sauce and spinach Chop the walnuts. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 grated cheese over the pasta and finish it with the chopped walnuts. Bake the pasta in a preheated oven at 175°C (350°F) for 25 to 30 minutes. Until golden brown and bubbly warm.

Meal type: Main Course, Side Dish, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 to 6
Copyright: © kayotickitchen.com

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    16 Comments »

    1. 1
      Jane on Nov 5, 2012 @ 11:10 am Reply
      1. Yes! That’s the one. I see that online they do mention the oven temp, they didn’t do that in the magazine. Noticing that my recipe is indeed very different, but I loved the addition of spinach and walnuts.

        40 minutes of baking time is way too long, though!

        Kay on Nov 5, 2012 @ 11:14 am Reply
    2. 2

      Your version looks great! BBC good food have a great website for free though! Its  worth a browse http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2552640/cheese-and-spinach-penne-with-walnut-crumble

      Hazy on Nov 5, 2012 @ 11:14 am Reply
      1. Just got the link! Great… because there’s no way I’ll fork up $11 for a magazine, but I do like the ideas in there :)

        Kay on Nov 5, 2012 @ 11:17 am Reply
    3. 3

      Looks great, Kay! Just opened the link but I prefer your recipe over the BBC recipe. Your cheese sauce has more flavor with the onion and garlic in it.

      Maria on Nov 5, 2012 @ 11:34 am Reply
      1. I honestly didn’t even remember whether or not the BBC recipe had garlic and onion in it :)

        Kay on Nov 5, 2012 @ 2:15 pm Reply
    4. 4

      Bookmarked! Will make this soon. Thanks so much for the recipe.

      Lori on Nov 5, 2012 @ 1:02 pm Reply
    5. 5

      Dat ziet er lekker zeg.

      Arrisje on Nov 5, 2012 @ 2:08 pm Reply
    6. 6

      My eyeballs have never had as much fun as right now.

      Bev @ Bev Cooks on Nov 5, 2012 @ 4:27 pm Reply
    7. 7

      Who doesn’t love a pasta bake and t his one looks great!

      Bree on Nov 5, 2012 @ 5:17 pm Reply
    8. 8

      Looks absolutely scrumptious.  Now I know what side dish I’ll bake for my Thanksgiving Dinner.  Thank you for a great recipe.  Love all the ingredients.

      Sheree on Nov 5, 2012 @ 11:04 pm Reply
    9. 9

      Hmm looks delicious! I discovered your website about a month ago and I totally adore it! But I can’t choose: so many great recipes! 

      Sarah on Nov 6, 2012 @ 10:59 am Reply
    10. 10

      This looks delicious! I love your photographs!

      Diane on Nov 15, 2012 @ 6:03 pm Reply
    11. 11

      Cheese just makes everything better.

      Christian Rene Friborg on Nov 20, 2012 @ 3:38 am Reply
      1. Amen!

        Kay on Nov 28, 2012 @ 9:15 am Reply
    12. 12

      how much butter did you use?

      Andie on Sep 25, 2014 @ 4:04 pm Reply

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