Blue Cheese & Spinach Pasta Gratin
This week, enjoy special deals on delicious, locally-made cheeses handpicked by our cheesemongers! It more important than ever to support local artisans and promote local business, and Oliver’s is incredibly proud of our ability to do both. The aptly named Valley Ford Creamery located in Valley Ford, Sonoma County produces the perfect cheese for this pasta gratin – their gorgonzola-style Grazin’ Girl Blue ($15.99/lb)! Creamy, peppery, and rustic, it’s the perfect compliment to tender spinach and rich bechamel, lending this weeknight-friendly dinner just the right amount of sophistication.
*Prices good through 9/15/20.
- Serves: 4-6 servings
- Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
- Cook Time: 45-50 minutes
- 1 c. Valley Ford Creamery Grazin’ Girl Blue Cheese, grated or finely crumbled
- 1/2 c. Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
- 1/2 c. Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1 lb. Frozen Spinach, thawed & well drained
- 1 Shallot, finely minced
- 3 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
- 1 lb. medium-sized Pasta Shells
- 1 c. Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
- 1/8 tsp. Grated Nutmeg
- 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- 2 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 3 tbsp. Olive Oil, divided
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and thoroughly grease a large casserole dish. Cook pasta shells according to package directions in boiling, salted water, then drain and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Transfer drained shells to prepared dish, set aside until needed.
Heat butter in a medium saucepan until melted, then whisk in flour, cooking until roux is slightly crumbly. Remove pan from heat, and whisk in cream. Return to medium heat, stirring in Dijon mustard and nutmeg; allow bechamel to thicken without boiling, stirring frequently (about 5 to 7 minutes). Season to taste with salt and a generous amount of black pepper. While sauce thickens, heat a small saute pan on medium heat until hot, then saute shallot and garlic until fragrant. Add drained spinach to pan and lightly saute until warm; transfer immediately into bechamel sauce along with cheeses. Stir until mixture is well combined.
Spoon about 1 teaspoon bechamel mixture into each shell, then pour remaining mixture over top, smoothing bechamel into corners and gaps. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until top is browned and gratin is hot throughout. Allow gratin to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
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