My daughter has fallen in love with pasta. Yes, pasta is what tops her list of current favourites. She is just loving the idea of simply having mac and cheese and pasta in almost any form is welcome these days. I had to come up with a recipe that would suit her tastebuds and also ensure the health aspect, so it was spinach and sausages for me. Pasta recipes sure are fun to experiment with and with an ardent pasta fan experimenting becomes a fun activity too. White sauce pasta recipes are her favourite with not so much an inclination shown towards the red sauce based pasta recipes and so white sauce it is going to be.
Pasta – 200 gms
Spinach – 2 cups(blanched and finely chopped)
Sausages – 200 to 300 gms(lightly fried and cut into bite sized pieces)
Onion - 1 finely chopped
Olive oil - 1 tbsp(you can use normal cooking oil if you do not have olive oil)
Salt - to taste
Grated cheese – ½ cup (for the topping)
For the white sauce:
All purpose flour (Maida)- 2 tbsp
Butter - 2 tbsp
Milk – 1 to 1.5 cups
Cream - 2 to 3 tbsp(optional)
Garlic - 2 (finely chopped)
Paprika - 1/4 tsp(you can increase it in case you like your pasta spicy)
Pepper powder - 1/4 to 1/2 tsp
Dry Basil – ¼ tsp
Method for pasta recipe:
1-Take a deep dish that can immerse the pasta completely. Fill with water, add some salt and the pasta and cook. When done, drain the water and keep under cold running water for about 30-40 seconds. Keep aside.
2-In a pan, add olive oil. Add the finely chopped onion and fry till it turns soft. Add the finely chopped spinach and let cook for 3-4 minutes. Now add the sausages and cook for a minute or two. Keep aside.
3-Take a pan and add the butter to make the white sauce. Let the butter melt. Now add the chopped garlic and fry till the aroma comes. Add the all purpose flour (maida) and fry for a minute. Add the milk and mix well, continuously stirring to avoid any lumps and have a smooth white sauce. At this stage I like to add the pepper powder, paprika and basil. Mix well. Add in the spinach and sausage mixture and mix well. Add salt to taste and mix. Take off from the gas stove and add the whipping cream. Mix well.
4-Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease an oven proof dish and put in the boiled pasta, next comes the white sauce, spinach and sausage mixture. Top it with grated cheese. Bake it for approximately 15 minutes till the cheese melts completely and you have a nice cheesy layer on top. Serve hot (make sure to take out right from the bottom to get all the three layers).