Pasta Pie with Greens

Pasta Pie with Greens

IMG_0457

This is an interesting way to serve pasta. I adapted this from a Smitten Kitchen Recipe. This is great as a main meal with a salad or as a side dish.

IMG_1715

Ingredients

2 packages of Spinach with stems removed (you could also use kale or swiss chard)
1 pound dried spaghetti or cappellini
1 1/2 cups milk
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons water
2 to 3 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 Cup aged pecorino cheese, shredded, divided
1 Cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 Cup grated parmesan
1/2 Cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon paprika
1 pat of butter

IMG_0450

 IMG_0449

Directions

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a (or use a non-stick) 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the outside of the springform, focusing on the places where the ring meets the base, tightly in aluminum foil. Set aside. This is very important as there will be some leakage from the pan and it will make a mess if you don’t!

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until (this is also important) 2 minutes shy of done, so very al dente, as the spaghetti will continue cooking in the oven. Drain well and let cool slightly.

In a frying pan add the 2 tablespoons of water and cook spinach over low heat until wilted. Drain well. I use a mesh strainer and press all the water out.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and milk together with salt and pepper. Stir in all but 1/2 cup of each cheese and spinach, if using. Add pasta and toss to coat.

Pour into prepared springform and sprinkle remaining cheese and bread crumbs on top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling and a knife inserted into the center of the pie and turned slightly will not release any loose egg batter into the center. If the top of your pie browns too quickly before the center is set, cover it with foil for the remaining cooking time.

IMG_0448

Spinach & Goat Cheese Bisque

Spinach & Goat Cheese Bisque

 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I cooked a feast for family and friends and this was a big hit. This is relatively guilt-free as it does not have the usually heavy cream and uses potato to thicken. It is not maybe the most attractive but it IS good. Adapted from an Eating Well recipe Recipe by Anna Thomas, September/October 2011. I apologize for not taking many photos but I got busy and forgot and I wanted to share this! The original recipe left out something and I did not realize until after I made it. Next time I will add more broth to make it not so thick (and a bit smoother). That change is reflected in my recipe below. I made this the day before and so it was easy to just reheat before serving.

10295307_10153378252902098_1239651942666629778_o

IMG_1655

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups Vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh
  • 1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons cream sherry
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, store-bought or homemade
  • Spinach – about 1 1/4 pounds), any tough stems trimmed
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese (2 ounces), plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • Soup croutons for garnish (see below)

Preparation

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water and thyme and cover. Cook, stirring frequently until the pan cools down, and then occasionally, always covering the pan again, until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel color, 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the 2 cups broth and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large soup pot or Dutch oven; add potato. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until very soft, 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. When the onions are caramelized, stir sherry (or Marsala) into them; add them to the pot along with broth. Add the remaining broth. Return to a simmer. Stir in spinach, cayenne and nutmeg; cover and cook, stirring once, until the spinach is tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat, stir in goat cheese, butter and 1 tablespoon lemon juice; allow the butter and cheese to melt. Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth or in a regular blender in batches (return it to the pot). Taste and add more salt and/or lemon juice, if desired. Serve garnished with a large soup crouton and crumbled goat cheese, if desired.

1 Carbohydrate Serving  Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • To make soup croutons: Slice one-fourth of a whole-grain baguette into slices 1/2 inch thick. Melt 1 tablespoon butter; lightly brush on both sides of each slice. Place the slices on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until the edges are crisp and golden brown, 10 to 20 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn.
Zucchini “Pasta” with Roasted Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Zucchini “Pasta” with Roasted Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

I just got a spiralizer for my birthday and I tried it out for the first time. Very easy to use. This was a great meal and we will be making this again. I kind of winged it on the ingredients but it makes a great vegetarian meal with little guilt and a lot of flavor. Might be good for after Thanksgiving…

IMG_1598

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Head of cauliflower, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil (for drizzling on cauliflower)
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (or more)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp Sriracha (optional, adds a little kick)

“PASTA” INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 package raw spinach, with stems removed
  • Fresh herbs to garnish

IMG_1595

IMG_1593

IMG_1594
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower chunks on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  2. Place in oven and roast until tender and golden, about 20 minutes, cool slightly.
  3. In a food processor, add the cooked cauliflower, milk, salt, pepper, dried herbs and Sriracha. Blend until a smooth sauce forms, approx 30 seconds to a minute to ensure texture is smooth and creamy with no lumps! Place in a microwave safe bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, place zucchini in a medium-sized frying pan greased with coconut cooking spray and cook, while stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until zucchini takes on a cooked pasta texture. Careful not to overcook! About mid way through cooking the zucchini, add in the spinach and cook lightly until it is wilted.
  5. Warm the “Alfredo” sauce in the microwave for about a minute
  6. Place spinach/zucchini pasta in serving bowls and top with sauce.
  7. Garnish with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese.
Italian Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Italian Spaghetti Squash Casserole

IMG_1378
This recipe idea came from a wonderful food blog http://www.Lemonsandbasil.com. I altered it and added more cheese. The recipe calls for 2 cups but you can use as much or as little as you want depending on how cheesy you like your casseroles. I am not here to judge. I LOVE cheese.
IMG_1369IMG_1373
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 sweet onions, sliced thin
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 packages baby spinach
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce (I used Trader Joe’s traditional Marinara)
  • 2 cups part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded 
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp smoked Paprika

IMG_1370IMG_1375

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove all seeds and place on baking sheet face down. Bake for 40 minutes or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil, add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until they are golden and caramelized – about 20 minutes. Add red pepper and cook until tender. Add spinach and continue cooking another 2-3 minutes, or until spinach is cooked and wilted. Remove from heat.
  3. Once squash is cooked and cooled, use a fork to shred flesh into large bowl. At this point, increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  4. Add egg, Greek yogurt, chili flakes and half of bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Stir in the Squash mixture until combined.
  5. Pour 1 cup spaghetti sauce into 2 quart baking dish. Next, spoon spaghetti squash mixture over sauce and spread evenly. Sprinkle with 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese. Add another cup of spaghetti sauce, spread evenly then top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and remaining bread crumbs. Sprinkle smoked paprika over the bread crumbs.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  7. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired.