Sunday, July 6, 2014

Spinach Pasta Bake

This recipe comes from the blog Finding Joy in My Kitchen. The original recipe calls for penne pasta but I somehow forgot to buy it during my grocery shopping trip. I happened to have half a box of whole wheat lasagna noodles on hand, so I just broke those up in place of the penne. It worked great for us. I may splurge on a bag of baby spinach instead of regular spinach next time though. It's meant to be a make-ahead meal which worked well for our late evening return from the pool (just pulled it out of the fridge and stuck it in the oven.) I only refrigerated mine for about six hours and it worked fine. This also makes a great lunches leftover!

  • 1 lb. whole wheat pasta noodles
  • 8 oz. tomato paste
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup pureed carrots
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 5 cups spinach, rinsed
  • 3 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (with a sprinkling of Parmesan, if you have it)

  1. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan.
  2. Combine the tomato paste with the pureed carrots and oregano.
  3. Mix in the spaghetti sauce.
  4. Spread 1 to 2 ladle-sized scoops of the sauce mixture into the bottom of the 9x13 pan.
  5. Place half of the pasta noodles, uncooked, over the sauce mixture.
  6. Spread about half of the spinach (or to your preference) over the the pasta.
  7. Spread half of the cottage cheese over spinach leaves.
  8. Top with another 1 to 2 ladles of sauce.
  9. Place the remaining noodles over the sauce.
  10. Repeat the spinach and cottage cheese layers.
  11. Spread the remaining sauce over the top.
  12. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  13. Before baking, remove from fridge and remove cover.
  14. Sprinkle with cheese and cover with tin foil.
  15. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  16. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  17. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

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