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  • Seasonal local food recipe No.222 – Hugh’s spinach, penne and cheese spouffle

    Posted on March 28th, 2014 Janet No comments

    This is from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Veg Every Day book.  He puts cooked pasta into a soufflé mix to turn it into a sustaining one-pot dish – a spoufflé!  I’ve been waiting for spinach (or chard) in my veg box to try this again.

    Serves 4baby spinach-camel csa

    Preparation time: 30 minutes
    Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

    300ml milk
    1 bay leaf
    1/2 onion
    a few black peppercorns
    100g penne
    olive oil
    250g spinach, any tough stalks removed
    50g butter, plus extra for greasing
    50g plain flour
    75g mature cheddar cheese, grated
    a little freshly grated nutmeg
    3 large eggs, separated, plus 1 extra egg white
    salt and pepper

    Put the milk, bay leaf, onion and peppercorns into a small pan and bring to just below a simmer.  Turn off the heat and leave to infuse.

    Cook the penne until al dente, drain well then toss in a tiny bit of olive oil to stop it sticking together.

    Cook the spinach, with just the water clinging to it after washing, in a covered pan over a medium heat until wilted – just a few minutes.  Drain well.  When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess water and chop roughly.

    Heat the butter in a pan over a medium heat, stir in the flour to form a roux and cook for a few minutes.  Reheat the infused milk, then strain.  Add the milk to the roux a third at a time, beating well: you will end up with a thick bechamel sauce.  Cook, stirring for a couple of minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, nutmeg, chopped spinach and season to taste.  Beat in the egg yolks, then fold in the cooked penne.

    In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to firm peaks.  Stir a spoonful into the bechamel mix to loosen it, then carefully fold in the rest.

    Tip into a buttered 1.5 litre soufflé dish, place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven gas mark 5/190°C for 25-30 minutes until well risen and golden.  Serve straight away.

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