1 pound ziti with no lines or ditalini
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground veal, beef or chicken
1 medium onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
2 boxes frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed of excess water
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
A few grates fresh nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring it up to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and reserve in the pot it was cooked in.
While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, about 2 turns of the pan. Add the ground meat to the pan and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until evenly browned throughout, about 6-7 minutes.
Add the onion and garlic to the pan and continue cooking until the onion has softened, 6-7 minutes. Add the spinach and cook about 1 minute to heat through, then season the mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
While the onions are cooking, place a medium-size pot over medium heat and melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and cook the mixture for about 1 minute. Whisk the milk into the butter-flour mixture and cook until the liquid has thickened up. Season the sauce with nutmeg, salt and freshly ground black pepper.