Pasta spinach melt

Every so often we get these food magazines from Kraft. Even though we tend not to buy the Kraft brand, we still like to see what’s up in their test kitchen.

The Kraft food magazines are ripe with awesome meal ideas. However, their execution: Awful. We end up cutting the prep time and steps by at least a quarter.

That’s how we came up with Pasta Spinach bake. We saw the picture in the magazine and took it from there.

It's loaded with pasta and cheese. What's not to like?

It's loaded with pasta and cheese. What's not to like?

Since we made this a while ago, I can’t remember what exactly Kraft did to  F it up. But we WAY simplified it. I do remember they wanted to bake this. Blech. The oven? Seriously?

You don’t want to wreck what could be a nice spring/summer meal by turning on the oven.

The first thing you need to do is make the pasta. Use your best judgment, but in our house, a box of pasta doesn’t go very far. That’s because we’re piggies.

While that’s doing its thing, bust out a large skillet — one that has a lid (a large pot will do, too). Preheat it, then dump a can of good tomatoes in there — sauce and all.

Now we’ve referenced “good tomatoes” before. For a refresher, use some that are pre-spiced Italian or Burgundy wine and olive oil.

Get them sizzlin' before the next part.

Get them sizzlin' before the next part.

Next thing is very simple. Take a bag of baby spinach and dump it in the frying pan. Cover it — we’re going to steam it down.

Don't be afraid to pack it in there. It will cook down to practically nothing.

Don't be afraid to pack it in there. It will cook down to practically nothing.

Once that’s cooked down sufficiently, which should be about 10 to 15 minutes, take a large handful of mozzarella cheese and stir it into the mix. By this time your noodles should be done. Drain them and throw those in too. Mix it up good like.

Serve with some Parmesan cheese on top.

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