Friday, October 31, 2008

Baked Pasta Florentine

Baked Pasta Florentine

prep time: 30-40 minutes bake time: 30 minutes

Serves 8 (or 4 twice!)

10 oz frozen chopped spinach 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 Tbsp, plus ¼ cup vegetable oil ½ tsp. of salt
1 ½ pounds ground beef (or turkey) pinch of pepper
1 medium onion, chopped 1 pkg. of seashell pasta
1 garlic clove, minced 1 cup shredded cheddar
16 oz jar of spaghetti sauce ½ cup bread crumbs
8 oz. can of tomato sauce 2 eggs, beaten well

1. Cook the macaroni according to the package directions, drain and return to the pot. *
2. Cook the spinach according to the package directions, drain and reserve the liquid. Add enough water to the liquid to make 1 cup and set aside. *
3. In a large heavy pot, heat 1 Tbsp of oil over medium heat. Brown the beef, onion and garlic in the oil, stirring well to crumble beef. Drain off the fat. *
4. Stir the spinach liquid, pasta sauce, tomato sauce and paste, salt and pepper into the meat mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes, cover and set aside.
5. Add the spinach, cheese, breadcrumbs, eggs, and ½ cup of oil to the cooked pasta; stir gently to mix well.
6. Spread the pasta mixture evenly in a 9 x 13 dish (or I often make two 8 x 8’s and freeze one). Top with the meat sauce and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

* I get steps 1-3 started all right at the beginning, otherwise this can take quite a while. But it times out well if you start them all together.

From my friend Jenny Adler, (but I believe it's originally from Paula Deen)


Lee,Jenny, and Max said...

I think I use every pan I own when I make this!! I have started doubling the sauce recipe and freezing half so the next time you want to make it you only have to cook the noodles and spinach. At least every other time you won't have as much work. This is a great way to get kids and picky grownups to eat spinach!

Heather said...

I love that you're telling me these things--I hate the clean up for this one, so making double the sauce is a great plan! Love it! :) Amd we miss you guys!