Easy Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Bake recipe

Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Bake Recipe (with Cherry Tomatoes and Chilli)

This Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Bake (with Cherry Tomatoes and Chilli) is a ridiculously easy family meal, that can be put together with store cupboard ingredients if needs be.

This is a vegetarian dish that should satisfy most meat eaters. I tend to have meat or seafood with every dinner, but find that iron rich spinach is one ingredient I prefer in vegetarian dishes only (such as Spinach & Feta pie and Fiorintina Pizza).

The key to a good pasta bake is to undercook the pasta prior to baking in the oven, where it will finish cooking.

Serves 4-6

Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Bake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 400g  pasta (large tubes such as Rigatoni work best)
  • 250ml tub of ricotta cheese
  • 500g  frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
  • Grating of  nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 500-700ml sieved tomatoes (Passata)
  • 1 tsp chili flakes, or finely chopped red chilli
  • 1 tsp  dried basil
  • 1 tsp  dried oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary (finely chopped)
  • 250g Cherry Tomatoes
  • Parmesan (to taste)
  • Breadcrumbs (from a slice or two)
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. In a large saucepan, cook the pasta to 2 mins less than al dente – usually about 4 mins under packet instructions.
  2. Mix in Riccotta, spinach, and nutmeg, then add the cherry tomatoes.
  3. At the same time, in a medium pan on a medium heat, fry the garlic and chilli in a little olive oil for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the Passata and herbs, stir in, and keep on the lowest heat.
  5. Place the pasta mixture in a baking dish, and then spoon over the tomato sauce to completely cover.
  6. Top with breadcrumbs and grated parmesan.
  7. Bake at 180c/350F for 25-35 mins.
  8. Remove from oven, and leave to settle for a few minutes. The pasta will absorb more flavour and liquid, and will lead to a firmer texture of pasta bake.

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