Friday, April 17, 2020

Spinach Ricotta Pasta Bake



Spinach Ricotta Pasta Bake





Spinach and ricotta pasta, topped with lots of spinach, creamy ricotta and a deliciously rich tomato sauce. It is comfortable and cozy food! Hearty, comforting and so delicious. This delicious cooking of vegetarian pasta is ideal when the weather gets colder.

Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups (150g) mozzarella cheese , shredded
  • 300g / 10 oz ziti pasta, uncooked, or other short pasta of choice

RICOTTA MIXTURE
  • 3/4 tsp salt & pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 1 lb / 500 g ricotta 
  • 1 cup (100g) grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup (50g) parmesan cheese , grated
  • 350g / 12oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess liquid pressed out

SHORTCUT PASTA SAUCE
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp EACH onion and garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp water (if needed)
  • 2 tsp dried Italian Mixed Herbs 
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes , to taste (optional)
  • 24 oz / 700g tomato passata (1 standard bottle)

TO SERVE
  • Parmesan cheese , grated


Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  2. Pasta Sauce: Pour out about 1/4 cup of the passata (to make room to add flavourings). Add the remaining Pasta Sauce ingredients into the bottle, screw the lid on and give it a shake.
  3. Cook pasta for time per packet MINUS 1 minute. 
  4. SCOOP OUT 1 mugful pasta cooking water, drain and set aside.
  5. Ricotta Mixture - Mix Ricotta Mixture ingredients in a very large bowl. Use a splash of pasta cooking water if needed to make it creamy.
  6. Add pasta and stir to combine. Transfer to a heatproof baking dish.
  7. Top with Pasta Sauce, top with cheese. Loosely cover with foil.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the cover and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  9. Serve while hot and fresh! Enjoy your cooking!