It's time for some dirty secrets of mine. If you ask me who is my celebrity crush I would have to say it's Rachael Ray! Yes, you've read it right, I have a crush on a woman! She is smart, gorgeous, very funny, has an awesome voice, loves dogs, but most importantly she is a great chef. How can you not have a crush on her?! I love watching her shows because she always has great tips and gives me the most inspiring ideas, even though I never really followed her exact recipe! So today I decided to change it up and actually cook something that she cooked on the show (with some modifications of course). It looked so good that I couldn't resist. She calls it "Green Pasitsio", the vegetarian version of a meaty Greek dish. It may not be the quickest dish I've ever made and definitely there was a time that I wished I had two extra hands (thanks God my wonderful husband lent me his), but at the end we couldn't believe how tasty the dish was.
The recipe called for swiss chard but I used collard greens instead. I was always a little bit intimidated by this ingredient but I decided to give it a chance and I absolutely don't regret my decision.
The recipe is kind of long, but I will try to shorten it without leaving any important details out. Saute onions and garlic with olive oil, add chopped collard greens, spinach, one cup of parsley, one cup of cilantro, salt and pepper. Collard greens tend to be a little bit tough when raw so I boiled them for about 10 minutes before that. Cook everything for about 5 minutes and add cooked pasta, and crumbled feta cheese.
You know it's going to be good if feta cheese is involved! Put everything in the baking dish, pour the bechamel sauce on the top of it and cover with grated Parmesan cheese. I'm sure everybody knows how to make a bechamel sauce, but as a quick reminder: melt butter in a saucepan and then whisk in flour and milk with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Bake everything at 375F for about 20-25 minutes, until it's brown and bubbly.
After taking it out of the oven, wait for 5-10 minutes for it to cool down a little bit. It will be much easier to cut and serve, but it will also taste much better.
I was thinking what can I write to explain how delicious this dish is, and I have nothing. It sounds good, it looks good, but trust me there is no words that can express how great it tastes. I guess you have no choice but make it yourself and enjoy it as much as we did!
Try it and you won't be disappointed.