Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Spinach casserole with orecchiette and cheeses

Spinach casserole with orecchiette and cheeses / Orecchiette de forno com espinafre e queijos

Talking to a coworker who has lost several pounds, I found out that the on the diet she’s been on gluten and dairy are forbidden. I must say that as much as I would love to lose a couple of pounds, I would never be able to follow that kind of diet: I cannot survive without bread and cheese; I know there are ways of replacing wheat flour for other kinds of flour – the spelt muffins I made a while ago were pretty decent – but the thought alone of not eating cheese makes me moody already. :)

This cheeseaholic loved Amanda Hesser’s pasta dish not only because there are two types of cheese involved, but also because it’s delicious, hearty even without any kind of meat and perfect for the cold days we’ve been having here.

Spinach casserole with orecchiette and cheeses
slightly adapted from Amanda Hesser’s wonderful recipe bible

300g spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 fat garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups finely chopped canned plum tomatoes
225g (½ pound) orecchiette
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Have ready a 6-cup capacity casserole or baking dish.
Rinse the spinach and remove the stems. Gather all the leaves and roll them together like a cigar then finely slice.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onion, sauté over medium heat until tender but not brown, then stir in the garlic. Add the tomatoes, then add the spinach. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the spinach has wilted.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Cook the orecchiette until al dente. Remove the sauce from the heat, stir in the goat cheese and half the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce, then transfer to the casserole. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top. Bake for about 15 minutes or until heated through. Serve at once.

Serves 2


Cupcake and Talk said...

The dish looks delicious, and oh so pretty.

Melissa@Julias Bookbag said...

LOVELY!!!! I adore this pasta shape.

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