- butter or margarine - 2 tbsp, unsalted
- shallots - 5, sliced
- baby spinach - 1 pkg (5 oz) , rinsed
- butter - 1/4 cup unsalted or margarine
- all purpose flour - 1/4 cup
- milk - 3-1/2 cups
- Monterey Jack Cheese - 2 cups shredded
- Asiago cheese - 1-1/2 cups shredded
- Feta cheese - 1/4 cup crumbled
- dried mustard - 3/4 tsp
- freshly ground black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- each ground nutmeg and dried thyme - 1/4 tsp
- penne rigate (ridged pasta) - 1 lb
- fresh breadcrumbs - 2-1/2 cups
- unsalted butter - 3 tbsp , or margarine, melted
- Parmesan cheese - 3 tbsp, grated
1. In a skillet set over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter. Add shallots; cook, stirring often, for about 20 minutes or until golden and softened. With water still clinging to the leaves, add spinach to skillet. Cook, stirring, for about 2 minute or until spinach is wilted. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a large heavy bottomed saucepan set over medium heat, melt ¼ cup butter. Sprinkle flour over butter; cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Pour in warmed milk. Cook, whisking, for about 8 minutes or until lightly thickened. Remove from heat. Whisk in Monterey Jack, Asiago and Feta until melted and smooth. Set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 375F.
4. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta for about 8 minutes or until still quite al dente. Drain well. Stir cheese sauce into pasta. Stir in shallot/spinach mixture. Transfer mixture to 13-9-inch baking dish.
5. Topping: In separate bowl, stir together breadcrumbs and melted butter until breadcrumbs are thoroughly moistened. Stir in Parmesan. Sprinkle evenly over pasta in dish.
6. Bake in centre of preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until topping is light brown and casserole is warmed through.