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Author Notes: I make this herby spinach filling often and use it to flavor anything from quesadillas to open-faced "spinach pie" appetizer bites. Mixed with cream and a generous helping of gruyere, the filling facilitates a great baked pasta--one that's perhaps slightly greener than its creamy competition. —Cara Eisenpress
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small onions, diced
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, cut into slivers
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 1 bunch swiss chard, leaves coarsely chopped, stems separated and diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
For the Pasta
- 8 ounces small shaped pasta
- 2/3 cup cream
- 1 1/2 cups grated gruyere
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- Slowly saute the onion in the olive oil in a large Dutch oven with lid. You don't want it to brown.
- Add the shallots, the garlic, and the chard stems, cooking for a few more minutes until soft but not brown. Add the herbs and the salt, stirring to combine.
- Put in the chard and wilt it by covering the pot for a few minutes. You may have to do this in two steps if your pot's not big enough to hold all the chard. Mix up the sauteed vegetables from the bottom of the pan.
- When the chard tastes done, add the spinach, stirring again, and cover just for 30 seconds to a minute, or until the spinach is wilted. Set aside. (The filling can be made ahead.)
- When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375°F. Cook the pasta in salty water til very al dente, then drain.
- Add the gruyere and the cream to the spinach. Taste for salt and seasonings. Pour in the pasta,
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and cook for about 20 minutes, until the cream is bubbly and reduced and the top of the pasta is brown and crisp.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Baked Pasta