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Spinach Florentine Casserole on AprilJHarris.com
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4.84 from 6 votes

Spinach Florentine Casserole

Course Vegetarian
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 to 6 servings
Author April J Harris (adapted from Linda's Kitchen)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of spinach
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • about 2 cups milk
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • very generous pinch of nutmeg freshly ground if possible
  • 8 to 9 ounces penne pasta
  • cups plain tomato sauce or passata sieved tomatoes (I use a 400 gram tin of passata)
  • 4 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup vegetarian cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C or 170°C for a fan oven).
  • Steam the spinach for 3 minutes.
  • Remove the spinach from the heat and drain it as much as possible. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  • Add the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to pick up some colour.
  • Sprinkle the flour over top of the mushrooms and stir to coat.
  • Cook for a minute or so.
  • Gradually add the milk, a bit at a time, stirring and allowing the sauce to thicken between each addition. You want a fairly thick and creamy sauce so you may not need all the milk.
  • Add the cooked spinach and stir through.
  • Stir in the nutmeg.
  • Add the salt and pepper.
  • Pour the mixture into the bottom of a deep 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions.
  • Drain the pasta and return it to the saucepan.
  • Over very low heat, add the tomato sauce or passata to the pasta in the saucepan.
  • Grate in the garlic and add the pesto, stirring through to mix.
  • Place the dressed pasta layer carefully over the spinach florentine layer in the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the cheese over top of the pasta layer.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and beginning to turn golden brown.
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