Spanakopita Pasta

It’s kinda crazy, but this pasta tastes just like spanakopita. Only, instead of being a flaky, crispy pie, this is a creamy, rich pasta. It’s less messy to eat and significantly easier to make (since you’re not handling finniky phyllo dough). That means it satisfies that craving, no Greek yiayia needed – though, if ya got her, flaunt her!

Note: I halved the recipe (which are the measurements here) and it was still huge. Start boiling a 1/2 lb of short pasta (I used fusilli) and set your oven to 375. Cook the pasta a minute or two less than the package instructs and while it’s going, roughly chop 2-3 oz each (I just used half a bag of each) spinach and arugula. Don’t skip the chopping step – that’s what helps the greens incorporate themselves throughout the dish. Toss them in your baking dish (no point in dirtying another bowl) with 1/2 c. herbs (I used fresh dill and dried parsley), the green parts of 3 scallions (you’ll use the whites later), and salt and pepper. Squeeze all that greenery until it kinda wilts (yes, it will wilt even without heat or oil – kinda crazy) and set aside. Check on your pasta and if it’s good to go, reserve some of the pasta water (3/4 cup-ish), then drain pasta and set aside. Get that pasta pot back on the stove and melt 1 tbsp butter in it. Add the scallion whites, 2 cloves minced garlic, and some salt, and sauté about 4 minutes. Add 4 oz cream cheese (aka 1/2 a block or standard tub) and the pasta water and stir until smooth and creamy. To the sauce, add the greens, 2 oz shredded mozzarella, and 2 oz crumbled feta (don’t use the pre-crumbled stuff from a tub) and stir til it’s all combined. Add the pasta, toss to coat, and then pour the whole thing back into your baking dish. Top with another 2 oz each shredded mozz and feta. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes and throw under the broiler to get the top a little browned if you’d like.

I love how this dish feels like it has a lot of ingredients but comes together easily in just 1 pot (plus the baking/serving dish). And I still can’t get over the spanakopita vibes of this pasta. I mean, this is basically Greek mac and cheese sooooo you’re welcome.