Spinach Noodle Casserole
(Firinda Ispanakli Eriste)
4 servings of large egg noodles, boiled and drained
1 bunch spinach, washed and drained, chopped
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
8-10 medium sized mushrooms, cleaned, sliced
2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly roasted
4-5 tbsp half&half cream
1/2 tsp paprika
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk, warm
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2/3 cup kashar or mozzarella cheese, grated
To prepare the filling; saute the onion and mushrooms with olive oil. Add the garlic. When the smell of garlic comes out add the spinach. Continue to cook over high heat in a pan until all the water of spinach evaporates. Then add the rest of the filling ingredients, stir. Turn the heat off.
Meanwhile prepare the white sauce; melt the butter, add the flour, stir and cook about 3-4 minutes in a medium-sized pot. Slowly pour in the warm milk while stirring constantly. The milk and flour should blend very well. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Turn the heat off. Let it cool down for 3-4 minutes. Then add the eggs one by one, mix very well.
Add the noodles into the sauce, toss. Place half of the noodles&white sauce mixture in a medium sized casserole (or individual oven proof dishes). Place the spinach filling equally. Then cover them with the remaining noodles. Place the pasta with grated cheese equally.
Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C) and bake for about 30 minutes until the top takes a golden colour. Don't over bake it!