Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Spaghetti-Ricotta Bake

This recipe is very loosely adapted from a recipe called ”Layered Spaghetti and Spinach” which I found in the Aspen Historical Society Cookbook many years ago.

Cook:

1 pound linguine or spaghetti

until just barely al dente (see package for time and cook about one minute less than minimum).

While pasta is cooking, combine in a large bowl:

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 T olive oil
1 T Italian herbs

When pasta is cooked, drain well and toss with oil and garlic mixture. Lightly brush the bottom of a 9” x 9” (or equivalent area) baking dish with olive oil .  Put about 2/3 of the seasoned pasta in the baking dish and level the pasta. Spread:

16 oz part skim ricotta cheese over the pasta, sprinkle with

Ground nutmeg, then top with

4 cups fresh spinach, sautéed in 1 T olive oil until just barely wilted (photo at left shows 5 ounces sauteed fresh baby spinach - could use more) or 1 package frozen spinach, defrosted and very well drained.*

Spread remaining pasta mix evenly over the ricotta/spinach and sprinkle with:

Parmesan cheese, grated

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until top is browned and crispy.

When I made this before Chris decided he liked spinach, I put spinach on ¾ of the pasta and left a quarter with no spinach for him.

* When using frozen spinach remove as much moisture as possible; a good way to do this is to actually wring the spinach in your (clean) hand as if squeezing a sponge.






January 2015: VARIATION:  For a vegan/cholesterol free spaghetti spinach bake see: Spaghetti-Spinach-Cashew Cream Bake

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