Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Spinach Macaroni Casserole
However, as it has turned out, I don't seem to be very inclined towards blogging these days. In fact, ever since they have come, I don't seem to be very inclined towards doing anything. Other than lounging on the sofa and reading.
The kitchen, though, is abuzz with the sound and smells of cooking - mom and dad are the ones who are doing the cooking. Both are avid cooks and have a huge collection of recipes and they are only too eager to experiment in the kitchen.
My only contribution - other than deciding what is to be made and buying the ingredients for it - is shrieks of horror ( so much oil!), or murmurs of disapproval (not spicy enough!) or grunts of grudging admiration (the salt is just right - every single time) - and then I am back to lounging on the sofa doing... nothing!
On rare days, I manage to take the camera out, click a few pictures and finally update the blog!
Macaroni: 3/4 cup
Spinach - 2 cups, finely chopped
Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
Tomato - 2 nos, chopped
Paneer / Cottage cheese - 1/2 cup (if using paneer cubes, grate or crumble it)
Red chilli flakes - 1/2 tsp
Bay leaf - 1
Black cardamom - 1
for the topping:Parmesan/cheddar cheese - 4-5 tbsps
Tomato - 5 round slices, optional
for white sauce:
Plain flour - 1 tbsp
Butter - 1.5 tbsps
Low fat milk - 1 cup
Salt and pepper to taste
Mustard paste - 1 tsp
First make the white sauce:
Melt butter in a pan. To that, add the plain flour and stir briskly till the flour starts to change colour. Stirring continuously, add the milk in a thin stream. Keep stirring till the sauce comes to a boil and thickens. Add mustard paste, salt, pepper and a tbsp of grated cheese. Remove from fire and set aside.
Cook the pasta as per the package instructions. Drain and set aside for 5 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C.
Heat some oil in a pan. Add the bay leaf, black cardamom and the chopped garlic; let them sizzle for half a minute. Add in the tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes get soft and mushy.
Then, put the chopped spinach and stir till the spinach starts looking wilted (don't cook the spinach at this stage). Add in the crumbed paneer and the salt and the crushed red chillies. Stir for a minute. Then add in the white sauce and the cooked pasta and mix well.
Transfer to a baking dish, top with the grated cheese and the tomato slices and bake till the cheese is browned and bubbling, about 20 minutes.
It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!