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Pasta Florentine


I made a dairy sheva brachot for my niece last week and this was served as a side dish. Everyone thought it tasted “beyond” and very fattening, until I revealed my secret – the blended cottage cheese adds a creaminess that imitates the velvety texture of heavy cream, without the calories. Of course I prepared enough for a yeshiva (I usually hopelessly over-prepare!), so I happily packed some up in doggie bags for my married kids to take home.


Prepare the Pasta

Serves 8 as a main dish and 10–12 as a side dish. 

1. Cook pasta according to package directions until tender. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, melt butter; stir in mushrooms and sauté for about five minutes until they are limp.
3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
4. Add flour to the pan with the mushrooms and mix until absorbed. Gradually add milk and cooking cream and bring to a boil; cook and stir for two to four minutes or until thickened. Add spinach and seasoning and stir together well. Remove from heat.
5. Add pasta and blended cottage cheese and toss gently to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
6. Pour into a 9×13-inch oven-to-tableware dish lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Add a few dollops of ricotta cheese if desired. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through.


I often buy mushrooms, clean them, and slice them thinly in the food processor. I then freeze them in small bags to be used in dishes as above, or in omelets, kugels, etc. It’s very convenient to have them ready.


If you want the pasta to appear greener, add the spinach after everything is tossed together. Also, if cooking cream is not available, you can sub part heavy cream, or just use all milk. Do not use low-fat milk.


Photography: Daniel Lailah.

Food Styling: Amit Farber.