Cheese & spinach penne with walnut crumble

Cheese & spinach penne with walnut crumble

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(10 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 55 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 8

A twist on macaroni cheese, with added veg and a crunchy topping of bread and nuts - make in batches and freeze

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freeze unbaked
  • Vegetarian
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
656
protein
28g
carbs
54g
fat
36g
saturates
17g
fibre
3g
sugar
9g
salt
1.6g

Ingredients

  • 500g pack penne
  • 2 large leeks, sliced
  • 85g butter
  • 85g plain flour
  • 2 tsp ready-made English mustard
  • good grating nutmeg
  • 1l milk, plus a bit extra
  • 350g pack mature cheddar, grated
  • 4 slices French bread, diced
  • 85g walnut pieces
  • 400g bag spinach

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Method

  1. If you are eating one of the pasta bakes now, heat oven to 190C/170C fan/ gas 5. Boil the pasta with the leeks for 10 mins, then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, put the butter, flour, mustard, nutmeg and milk in a large pan with some seasoning. Gently heat, stirring all the time, until bubbling and thickened, then cook for 2 mins more, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and stir in two-thirds of the cheese. Toss the remaining cheese with the bread and walnuts.
  3. Cook the spinach in the microwave, or pour a kettle of boiling water over it to wilt, then squeeze out the excess water. Stir into the sauce with the pasta, leeks and some seasoning. If necessary, add a little extra milk to loosen. Divide between 2 ovenproof dishes and scatter the bread mixture on top. If eating straight away, bake for 40 mins until golden, or cool to freeze.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2012

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Comments

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rslade19's picture

Tasty but definitely took longer than stated to prepare!

BB-LB's picture

This recipe was delicious but definitely takes longer than stated in the preparation and cooking times stated. Tip: have everything measured ready to go. I added browned bacon lardons to the recipe to give another depth of flavour. Made two large dishes (one to eat and one to freeze). Strangely this recipe improved with freezing and had more depth of flavour (will freeze both batches next time). Served with sundried tomato and garlic bread + green salad.

picklenumber6's picture

A bit of a longwinded process and was moderately content with the final result- it is nice, and the walnut/bread topping definitely add to it but I would suggest chopping up the spinach so it disperses amongst the dish a bit better and also- for meat eaters- I would recommend adding diced bacon before putting into a dish and scattering with bread crumbs.

bailig's picture
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It does take longer than the recipe says, but it's worth the time - very tasty. Don't leave out the walnuts, they're the best bit!

akkie09's picture
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Love this! It's a great dish to freeze so I have something to eat when I don't have time to cook. I really believe this was one of the reasons we ate less fast food over the last 6 months. :)

huddinhk's picture
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It lies! Takes at least 30 minutes longer to prepare than the recipe suggests.

Try adding some feta in the final cheese mix and laying strips of pancetta and roasted peppers on the top, before baking :-)

rachelblatchford's picture
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My family didn't enjoy this recipe. It was too bland and felt like there was something missing. I thought it was okay but won't make it again. I think adding blue cheese would have improved it.

katejo's picture
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I adapted the quantities slightly as I was just cooking for one. Next time I will leave the bread out but add a few more nuts. I may also replace some of the cheddar with a little blue cheese (perhaps Stilton) and add slightly more mustard to give the sauce more flavour. I used wholewheat pasta and it worked well.

sasspot's picture
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Delish!!

Frantic Flapjack's picture
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This was lovely. I think the addition of leeks added to the flavour and the walnuts gave great texture to the topping. One for the binder!

psalm139ismine's picture
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Excellent!

tyleri's picture

Used 1/2 mature and 1/2 swiss cheese, because we love the texture of melted swiss cheese. Plus used finely chopped crispy bacon instead of walnuts. Delish :)

jenerationpink's picture
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Lovely recipe which all the family enjoyed. I added ham to it to keep the meat-lovers happy.

jenunn's picture
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Really pleased with this recipe, much tastier than I thought it might be. Liked the addition of walnut pieces to the crumble, gave it an interesting texture too. Saved a portion for my mother-in-law, who also loved it.

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