Baked Spinach and Feta Bucatini

As you might have guessed or are soon to learn, spinach, feta and herbs are staples in my kitchen.  I also am a huge fan of Mac ‘n Cheese but not so much in the summer mostly because I am grow tired of it after a long winter of making it all the time.  As a summer replacement, I make a baked spinach feta baked bucatini pasta that could feed an army or be a great side dish as well.  This is another dish you can make a day in advance and just cook when guests arrive and are ready to eat.

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound of bucatini pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1 pound feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 quart milk, heated
  • 1/4 pound of butter
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon of red pepper flakes (if you want a kick)
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 pound of extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup each of basil, chives, dill, chopped
  • 1 pound of spinach leafs, sautéed
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

Making It

  • Turn the oven to 375 degrees
  • Boil the pasta in salted water.  Cook VERY el dente, strain and put in a mixing bin, mix with a few drizzles of olive oil and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Drizzle some olive oil onto a sauté pan and add onion and cook for 5 minutes, then the spinach until wilted, add the garlic and cook for another two minutes, add to the pasta along with the pepper flakes and herbs
  • Heat the milk in a sauce pan until hot, not scolded
  • Melt the butter in a pan over a medium flame and then put in the flour, mix with a whisk for two minutes.  Add the milk and continue to whisk, let cook for 5 minutes and then take of the flame and add the cheese, mix until incorporated and add the nutmeg, pour into the pasta and spinach mix
  • Ass 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt a teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, let rest for 10 minutes
  • Top with chopped basil and parmesan cheese

 

 

 

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