13 February 2013

* Cheese and Spinach Penne with Walnut Crumble

I don't know about you, but my favourite recipes are ones that tend to use up whatever I've got lying around the kitchen. It's great to go out and buy ingredients for a specific recipe, but for me it's much more satisfying to come up with a way of using up the remnants of the fridge.

I absolutely HATE food waste.

Don't get me wrong, I've not undergone a personality transplant and suddenly become "Mrs Organised" (that's my mum) - I do end up chucking out the odd piece of long forgotten blue cheese... that started out life as a just an ordinary piece of cheddar but has managed to wedge itself in the back of the fridge underneath a punnet of chestnut mushrooms and has decided that it's cold and somewhat lonely and would very much like a fur coat, please. A blue one.

An almost permanent victim of my lack of organised eating/cooking, is beansprouts. They're not expensive - about 60p for a bag of 200g (possibly more)... not really the point, I know... I can never ever find a use for 200g of beansprouts. I stick half in a stir fry one day then spend the following two days avoiding eye contact with the other half, until they turn brown and I have no choice but to throw them away. I have a major brain fart when it comes to this food stuff. What does anyone do with a plethora of beansprouts? Seriously, I'd love to know.

The one thing I can't bare to put in the bin, is spinach. I love the stuff, which makes it slightly easier to find ways of using it up. Mostly I just bung it into whatever I'm cooking.


I know.

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Serves 3

Prep time - 10 minutes
Cooking time - 40 minutes

You will need
A pot to cook your pasta in
A non-stick skillet/pan with lid
A casserole dish
A small bowl

140g penne (or other dried pasta)
1 tbsp utterly butterly
1 small leek  (or 1/2 a large one) - sliced
3 turkey rashers - chopped (optional)
100g chestnut mushrooms - sliced
1 tbsp flour
600ml skimmed milk
50g low fat mature cheddar - grated
100g baby spinach - chopped

Walnut Crumble (optional)
20g chopped walnuts
30g low fat mature cheddar - grated
2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

Cook your pasta according to the packet instructions.
Preheat oven to 180c/160cfan/350f/gas 4.

Heat the utterly butterly in the skillet/pan over a medium heat until melted. Add your leeks, turkey rashers and chestnut mushrooms, pop the lid on and sweat for about 8 minutes until soft. Stir in the tablespoon of flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually pour in the milk, a little at a time and stir thoroughly each time before adding more milk.Once all of the milk has been added, allow the sauce to gently for about 10 minutes. This *cooks out* the flour and stops the sauce from having a dusty texture.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, then the spinach... then the drained pasta. Pour into your chosen casserole dish. In a small bowl combine the three ingredients for the walnut crumble together and scatter over the top of the pasta.

Bake in the oven until the cheese has melted and the crumble is golden and nommy looking - about 20 minutes. Serve with a green salad, or on it's own.


11 propoints per serving with Walnut Crumble, 9 without.

Barely adapted from Good Food Magazine


  1. This looks very healthy and fresh. Going to try it at the weekend.


Thanks for dropping in to read my recipes (and ramblings). I love it when you let me know what you think - so please leave a comment and I promise to take the time to reply!

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