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In the fall, when the air first start to get crisp, I crave a hearty casserole like nobody’s business. This mushroom and spinach gratin combines earthy flavors for a one-dish meal that will warm you up any day of the week.

1 cup red onions, diced
3 tablespoons basil, chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ cup bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ cup orzo, uncooked
2 cups spinach, stemmed and chopped
4 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 11 x 8 inch casserole dish.

Mix onions, basil, salt, and crushed tomatoes. Set aside. Warm oil over medium heat and sauté garlic for less than a minute. Add bread crumbs and toss until lightly browned.

(When dealing with mushrooms, it is best not to rinse them as they are like little sponges and will soak up water. To clean your mushrooms, use a damp towel and gently wipe away any dirt. When chopping the spinach, I’ve found it is easiest to tear the leaves by hand after thoroughly rinsing and drying each leaf.)

Spread about half of the tomato/onion mixture in the bottom of the casserole dish. Sprinkle the uncooked orzo over the tomatoes. Next, add the spinach, then the mushrooms, and then a layer of about 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese.


Add the rest of the tomato/onion mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and then add the bread crumbs. Cover with foil.

Bake for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake for 25 minutes more, or until the bread crumbs have turned from golden to slightly browned.

(Yields: 8 servings; Ready In: about 90 minutes)