Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chicken, Spinach & Almond Pasta Bake


Chicken, Spinach & Almond Pasta Bake

Ingredients:
• 1 lb. whole-wheat pasta
• 1 large yellow onion, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup white wine
• 4 cups fresh spinach, well-chopped
• half a lemon, juiced and zested
• 1 lb. chicken, cooked and shredded or cut into bite-sized pieces (*see tip below*)
• 8 oz. shredded mozzarella (or Italian blend) cheese
• 1/4 cup freshly-grated parmesan (optional)
• 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
Method:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large cooking dish (I used a 9×13″) with cooking spray. Set aside.
Boil the pasta in salted water per package instructions, until it is just al dente (ever-so-slightly chewy). 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 for one minute. Then add white wine, and stir to deglaze pan. Cook the mixture on the stove for another 5 minutes or so until it has reduced.
Stir in spinach. Cook for just about 20 seconds, until the spinach collapses a bit. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice. Add to pasta and stir and stir – mixing extremely well, a minute or so.
Add half of the pasta to the bottom of the baking pan, then sprinkle with some of the cheese, add more pasta, then more cheese. Finish with a thin layer of parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese on top is bubbly and melty. Serve sprinkled with the toasted almonds.
(Adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

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