This easy, creamy pasta bake is backed with salty bacon, savoury spinach and grassy spinach, perfect to make ahead for a comforting weeknight dinner. Advapted to be lighter, healthier, and for a regular oven from The Complete AGA Cookbook.
- 200g (7 oz) Penne Pasta
- 4 Pieces Streaky Bacon, chopped
- 200g (7 oz) Chestnut Mushrooms, peeled and thickly sliced
- 25g (1 1/2 tbsp) Unsalted Butter
- 25g (4 tbsp) Plain (All Purpose) Flour
- 300ml (1 1/3 cup) Semi Skimmed Milk
- Freshly Ground Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Large Pinch Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 120g (4 oz) Chopped Frozen Spinach, defrosted
- 20g (1 oz) Freshly Grated Parmesan
- 1 x 150g (5 oz) Ball Mozzarella
- Boil the pasta for 15 minutes in salted water. Drain and set aside. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (350 fahrenheit).
- Meanwhile, heat the mushrooms and the bacon together in a large frying pan. Once the mushrooms and soft and the bacon is golden, remove with a slotted spoon.
- Turn the heat down to medium low. Melt the butter in the pan until it is frothy, and add the flour. Cook for a minute or two constantly stirring with a balloon whisk. Gradually add the milk, whisking vigorously. Don’t worry if it goes lumpy at first – keep going and it will come good! Whisk the sauce until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon before removing from the heat.
- Season the sauce well with salt and pepper, before stirring in the nutmeg, mustard, cooked mushrooms and bacon, and the spinach, water squeezed out over the kitchen sink. Fold in the pasta until it is well coated with the sauce.
- Transfer the pasta mixture to a baking dish and sprinkle the top with torn mozzarella.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the bake is bubbling and the cheese is golden. Serve with a green salad.