Baked Pasta Casserole

Baked Pasta Casserole

Baked Pasta Casserole



Ingredients:

extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 pound whole wheat pasta shells

sea salt

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

4 cups well-chopped fresh spinach

1 1/2 cups sliced almonds, lightly toasted

zest of 2 lemons

8 ounces mozzarella, shredded or torn into small pieces


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter/oil a large casserole dish or baking pan - something roughly equivalent to 13x9-inch pan.

Boil the pasta in salted water per package instructions. Drain pasta, toss with a glug of olive oil. Set aside.

In the meantime, heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Saute the onions with a couple pinches of salt for a few minutes . Stir in garlic. Stir in spinach. Cook for just about 20 seconds, until the spinach collapses a bit. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the almonds and 1/2 of the zest. Add to pasta and stir and stir - mixing extremely well, a minute or so.

Now sprinkle the bottom of baking dish with the rest of the zest. Add a layer of the pasta to the bottom of the baking pan, now sprinkle with some of the cheese, add more pasta, then more cheese. Finish with a layer of cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese on top is bubbly and melty. Serve sprinkled with the remaining almonds.

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