This healthy dish is a little unusual but surprisingly good and easy.
Pasta is baked with yogurt and spinach to create a kind of creamy but slightly sharper version of macaroni cheese, a low fat pasta recipe that I think you will like. It passed the kid test in my house too which isn't bad for a dish that has spinach AND yoghurt. Full fat yoghurt is best here as low fat or non-fat varieties do tend to separate when cooked.
I sometimes top the bake with some sliced almonds too which adds flavour as well as a protein boost. This recipe serves 4 people.
8 cups/250g/9 oz of packed spinach leaves (the same weight is fine if you want to use frozen)
Half a pound /200g of macaroni or other short pasta
2 cups/500mls of full fat plain unsweetened yogurt
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
A tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs (if you have them) or a teaspoon of dried - tarragon or chives are good.
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons of grated parmesan or any vegetarian cheese you like
2 tablespoons of flaked or sliced almonds or pine nuts (not essential but great)
1. Cook the spinach, drain it and give it a good squeeze to remove any excess water. If you are using frozen, you just need to defrost.
2. Cook the pasta in boiling water until just al dente. Drain and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, garlic, herbs (if you are using them) and some seasoning to taste.
4. Stir in the cooked spinach and pasta and mix well so that the pasta is well coated with the yogurt mixture. Finally mix in the beaten egg.
5. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish, smooth out the top and sprinkle over the grated cheese.
6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 400F/200C.
7. Scatter over the almonds or pine nuts, return to the oven for another 5-8 minutes until the nuts are golden.
8. Serve this with a crisp green salad and some crusty bread.