Saturday, May 21, 2005

Spinach-and-Egg Noodle Casserole

Spinach-and-Egg Noodle Casserole (Adapted from Rachael Ray)

12 ounces dry extra-wide egg noodles
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
20 ounces frozen chopped organic spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
2 rounded tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
pinch fresh grated nutmeg
2 egg yolks
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
3 ounces (about 3/4 cup) shredded Gruyère cheese
2 ounces (about 3/4 cup) fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and return the noodles to the pot off heat.

Preheat broiler with rack placed in the center of the oven.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1minute. Add spinach, breaking it apart, and stir to combine and heat through - season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Scoop mixture into the drained noodles and set aside. Wipe out skillet.

Add butter into the skillet and melt over medium. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk - season with salt, fresh ground black pepper and nutmeg. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks - slowly whisk in a little of the hot milk sauce, then whisk mixture back into the skillet. Reduce heat to the lowest setting.

In another medium bowl, toss together panko, Gruyère and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Pour sauce into the pot with the noodles and spinach mixture, stirring until well coated. Evenly divide mixture between six individual serving dishes lightly coated with nonstick spray. Sprinkle the panko and cheese mixture evenly over the tops of each portion. Place into the oven and broil until the pasta has heated through and the top has browned, about 4 to 6 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

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