Monday, December 9, 2013

Penne with Pancetta and Spinach

Penne with Pancetta and Spinach

Serves 8-10.  I usually cut this one in half.

We loved this.  Will be making it again for sure!
Slightly adapted from: Cooking Light

8 oz. French bread
6 oz. chopped pancetta
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 t. minced garlic
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3-3/4 cups 1% milk
1/4 cup half-and-half
6 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1-1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
8 oz. hot cooked penne (about a 1-lb. box, uncooked)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 4 cups; set aside.
  1. Heat a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add pancetta, onion, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a small bowl; gradually add 3/4 cup milk, stirring until smooth. Add flour mixture, remaining 3 cups milk, and half-and-half to pan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Add spinach; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, salt, and pepper, stirring until cheese melts.

  2. Place pasta in a large bowl. Add sauce mixture to pasta; toss well. Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine breadcrumbs and butter; toss well. Sprinkle over pasta mixture. 

  3. Bake at 425° for 6 minutes or until crumbs are lightly browned.

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