Monday, July 06, 2015
Spinach Casserole with Pesto
This isn’t the prettiest dish, but trust me, it’s worth it. I found the original recipe on The Kitchn, but I changed a few things. I used more pasta, to make sure I had leftovers. I used parmesan cheese because it’s easier to find, but asiago cheese is also lactose-free, so either will work (as would grana padano, as long as we’re talking substitutions). And I didn’t have spinach pasta, so I used tricolor pasta instead – it may look a little weird, but it’s just as good. Of course, I took advantage of being in Quebec to get the lactose-free cream!
16 oz. spinach pasta
5 oz. fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped (about 5 cups)
2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz. asiago (or parmesan) cheese, grated
4 oz. raw chicken breast, finely chopped (this is optional, and I didn’t use it)
½ cup low-fat lactose-free Greek yogurt
½ cup lactose-free cream
½ cup basil pesto, homemade or jarred
¼ tsp. to ½ tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
Heat the oven to 350 °F and lightly grease an 8x11 or 9x13-inch square baking dish with olive oil or baking spray.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat and add the spinach pasta. Cook according to package instructions, drain, and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, in a large bowl toss together the chopped spinach, shallots, and garlic. Toss with the asiago cheese and the chicken breast, if using.
In a separate bowl whisk together the yogurt, cream, and pesto. Taste and add salt as desired, depending on the saltiness of the pesto. Stir in a generous quantity black pepper. Whisk in the eggs.
Stir the cooked pasta together with the spinach and shallot, then pour in the sauce and toss to coat. Spread in the prepared baking dish. (At this point the casserole can be covered and refrigerated overnight; I’d consider sprinkling the top with a little more grated cheese, too.)
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden-brown on top and lightly bubbling.