Saffron & spinach pasta casserole

  1. Cook 1.25 cup of macaroni adding salt till al dante. Drain the pasta & keep it aside.
  2. For the first layer, heat 1 tbsp of butter & add 1 cup of finely chopped onion , 1 tbsp of celery & cook till the onions are almost browned. Add 3/4 cup of colored capsicum & cook for 2 minutes on medium heat. Add 1 big carrot ( cut into thick juliennes & already cooked in salted water for 10 minutes or till 3/4th done) & toss.Add the cooked pasta, 1/2 cup of simple white sauce, 1/4 cup of milk in which you had soaked a generous pinch of saffron, 3 cream cheese squares or triangles ( 15 grams each), 1.5 to 2 tbsps of tomato ketchup, 1/2 tsp of pepper powder & salt. You have now prepared the first layer. Put this mixture in a greased casserole dish.
  3. For the 2nd layer, cook 1 cup of fine french beans ( cut into 1″ pieces) for 8 minutes in salted water. Add 1 cup of broccoli florets in salted water & cook for 7-10 minutes. Heat 2 tbsps of butter & add 1 tbsp of minced garlic & 1 cup of finely chopped onion. Cook till the onion turns slightly brown. Add 1 cup of fresh spinach (blanched & pureed in the mixer), 1/8 tsp of grated nutmeg & cook for 2-3 minutes.Add the cooked beans, blanched broccoli florets,1/2 cup of simple white sauce, 1/4 cup of milk, salt, pepper powder & 1 cream cheese square or triangle. Put this over the first layer in the casserole dish.
  4. Put grated cheddar and mozzarella cheeses on top & bake in a 200C preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Note:- For the simple white sauce, heat 2 tbsps of butter & add 1 heaping tbsp of plain flour. Cook for 2 minutes & add 11/4 cup of milk, salt & pepper powder. Cook till the mixture is saucy.

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