Baked Pasta with Spinach, Lemon, and Cheese

3 Mar

should have read the reviews on this one before making it!!  it sounded delicious but it was definitely missing something in taste..   pretty bland – definitely needs MORE salt – and i almost never add salt to anything!  but it definitely needs more flavors.  but who knows maybe my bland is your flavorful 🙂



  • 10  ounce  casarecce pasta or fusilli (short twisted spaghetti)
  • 1  (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 4  cups  chopped onion
  • 1.1  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
  • 4  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2  cups  1% low-fat milk
  • 1/2  cup  dry white wine
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  grated lemon rind
  • 1/2  teaspoon  black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4  cup  panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided


1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 minutes or until almost al dente, omitting salt and fat. Remove from heat; stir in spinach. Let stand for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Drain pasta mixture well.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add milk and wine; cook 8 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Stir in 3/4 cup cheese, salt, and rind. Remove from heat; stir in pepper. Add pasta mixture to onion mixture, and toss gently to coat.
4. Spoon the pasta mixture into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle half of panko breadcrumbs over pasta, and top evenly with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Sprinkle the remaining half of panko breadcrumbs over cheese. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until browned and bubbly.


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