Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Penne with Pancetta, Spinach, and Buttery Crumb Topping

So another fancy mac and cheese.  D and I weren't sure why we hadn't had this before until we saw the calories.  But we planned ahead for it so we could have it.

Big portions and very good.  I already want more. No side.

Penne with Pancetta, Spinach, and Buttery Crumb Topping

Pancetta is cured pork, similar in taste to bacon. The pancetta and cheesy sauce make this pasta dish a good vehicle for spinach, a vegetable Aaron wouldn't ordinarily enjoy. Serve with salad.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

8 ounces French bread (used stale sub rolls)
Cooking spray
Photo by: Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner;
Styling: Jan Gautro
3/4 cup (3 ounces) chopped pancetta
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
3 3/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
1/4 cup half-and-half
6 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 cups hot cooked penne (about 1 pound uncooked tube-shaped pasta)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425°.

Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 4 cups; set aside.

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.

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.

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

Nutritional Information
Calories: 505; Calories from fat: 29%; Fat: 16.1g; Saturated fat: 7.9g; Monounsaturated fat: 5.6g; Polyunsaturated fat: 1.6g; Protein: 19.5g; Carbohydrate: 70.8g; Fiber: 3.8g; Cholesterol: 37mg; Iron: 3.6mg; Sodium: 893mg; Calcium: 157mg

Cooking Light MARCH 2007

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