Baked Spinach and Chive Linguine with Chicken, Mushrooms and Mustard Greens Mornay Sauce

By • September 1, 2011 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: In this very versatile my recipe, you can use any Greens that you like or are in season. It will be equally delicious with sausages instead of chicken and also with other dry or fresh and even better with homemade pasta. You can omit chicken and mushrooms and make the Mornay Sauce just by sautéing onions, leeks and garlic and then adding butter and flour and proceed with the sauce; then mix in the cooked pasta. It could also be arranged in layers for a Lasagna, just double the Mornay Sauce recipe. I love my round glass baking dish because it has a lid and fits perfectly in the toaster oven , which is very convenient to use in hot weather and also for transporting (to my children’s home), what I usually do when cooking anything tasty. I did not expected that it will come out so easily and look beautiful like a cake but I took the risk, ran a knife around the edges and inverted to a large plate. As you can see in the pictures, I succeed.Kukla

Serves 6-8

For the Linguine pasta

  • • 4 medium size boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut in bite size pieces
  • • 8oz Crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • • 1 medium onion, diced
  • • 1 large Leek, halved and thinly sliced
  • • 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • • 3 tablespoons pure olive oil
  • • 1/2 cup good dry white wine
  • • Kosher or Sea salt
  • • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • • 8oz dry Spinach and Chive Pasta

For the Greens Mornay sauce: Makes about 3 or a little more cups

  • • 6 tablespoons butter
  • • 1 1/2 tablespoons sifted flour
  • • 2 cups whole milk, warm
  • • 1 teaspoon salt
  • • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • • 2 large egg yolks
  • • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese + more for the top
  • • 1 bunch Mustard Greens, washed and shaken to remove excess water, stems separated from leaves
  • • Panko bread crumbs for the top
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy bottom skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces, salt and red pepper flakes. Brown for about 5 minutes, turn over and brown for 4-5 more minutes. Using a slotted spoon to a large sauté pan, cover with a lid.
  2. In the same skillet sauté mushrooms in one layer until well browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the pan with the chicken.
  3. Add one more tablespoon oil and sauté onions, leek and thyme sprigs and a little more salt stirring occasionally, until softened and translucence, about 6-8 minutes; then add garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the wine to deglaze the skillet and cook until the wine is reduced completely. Discard thyme stems; then mix in to all the other ingredients, cover and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile trim and cut the greens stems into 1/2-inch pieces. Stack and roll the leaves, and cut them thinly. Set aside.
  6. Bring a deep pot with water to a boil over high heat. Add salt and stems, and stir with a wooden spoon to immerse them in water. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stems.
  7. Add the leaves, gently stirring with the wooden spoon to help them wilt into the water. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes.
  8. Using a slotted spoon or a strainer, get the cooked grins out of the pot and immediately transfer them into a colander placed in a big bowl with ice water.
  9. Once they are cool, wrap in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Puree through a food mill or in processor.
  10. To prepare Mornay Sauce; Melt butter in a pan, sift the flour directly over the butter and stir to make a smooth paste and cook out the raw flour taste.
  11. Slowly add warm milk. Simmer on a low heat stirring or whisking all the time until sauce thickens about 5 to 10 minutes.
  12. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove sauce from the stove, beat egg yolks and stir in them and the cheese. Add the pureed greens; stir quickly and well. Keep warm.
  13. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. F. Spray or butter a large and 2 1/2 or 3-inches deep casserole or glass baking dish.
  14. Cook linguine al dente, in the same water where the greens, drain thoroughly and immediately add to the pot with the chicken, mushrooms, onions, leeks and garlic.
  15. Mix everything together very well and then pour into prepared baking dish. Spread evenly, sprinkle with cheese and Panko bread crumbs.
  16. (At this point, you might cool the whole dish, then chill it and bake it later or even freeze up to a 3-4 days).
  17. Cover the dish with parchment paper and foil, place on the middle rack and bake for about 35- 40 minutes. Uncover and bake some more until the top is golden brown.
  18. Serve hot or warm as an entrée dish with any salad you like.
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Tags: can be cooked and assembled ahead, savory, very tasty entrée dish

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