Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Spinach Macaroni Casserole

My parents are visiting and I had thought that with them around, I'd have a lots to blog about. I had imagined that I'd cook a lot of interesting food for them, take pictures and for once, become a prolific blogger and have a new post ever so often!

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!





This spinach and macaroni casserole is something that my dad started making as a way of using up leftover palak paneer. Over time, the recipe has evolved to this:



Ingredients:

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

Oil


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







Method:


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.





Sending this to Mansi who is hosting Presto Pasta Nights - 169, an event started by Ruth.


17 comments:

  1. Omg, wat an elegant dish, my kids will devour immediately, they love that much anything with pastas..beautiful!

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  2. That is a lovely and delicious looking macaroni dish. A very innovative idea to use left over palak paneer and then turning it into a master piece like this :)

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  3. THat is a gr8 one pot meal..looks very yummy

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  4. That macaroni casserol just looks so so good. WHen my sister was here i didn't blog at all. Have fun.

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  5. Hi thanks for visiting my blog and giving a nice comment.you too have a nice blog and I shall also visit u often.

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  6. should be good one for my baby!!

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  7. Delicious casserole with macaroni and spinach, looks beautiful:)

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  8. Lovely ! I really dig these kinda dishes.. lucky u having ur parents cook and pamper u!! Enjoy!!

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  9. Now we know where the cooking genius gets her chops from. For most of us it is our moms. You got lucky twice over.
    Loved the casserole and most impressed with the presentation. Wow!

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  10. Wow, that looks amazing! and how lucky are you to get such delicious meals to savor, all the while lounging on the sofa:) I'm honored you pulled yourself up to blog bout this and send it to PPN:)

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  11. I am drolling all over the keyboard as I type. This is bookmarked and will get veganized soon ;) Such a great use of leftover palak paneer.

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  12. Lucky you having such eager cooks visiting. The pasta is gorgeous and I too am drooling. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

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  13. Wow!!! The Casserole looks so yumm!!! I loved your clicks, they are so beautiful :-)

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  14. Casserole looks fabulous! gorgeous clicks! Hey u should be having fun right? come back to blogging whenver u r comfortable :)

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  15. This looks great. Would love to have some...

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  16. ITS LOOKING SO GOOD DEAR!
    SWEET AND SAVORIES FOR DIWALI EVENT IS GOING IN MY BLOG NOW!
    PLZ DO JOIN WITH US TO CELEBRATE THE EVENT!
    FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE EVENT, VISIT http://www.srishkitchen.com/2010/07/deadline-extended-for-efm-sweets-and.html!

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  17. Hi Aqua,

    Thanks a lot for this recipe. I tried it and it came out very yummy!

    I have bookmarked your blog and I have linked to your post. Please see it here.

    http://www.womanatics.com/2011/12/my-experiment-with-spinach-pasta.html

    ReplyDelete

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