Saturday, July 14, 2012

Baked Rigatoni with Spinach, Ricotta, and Fontina

A quick take on spinach and ricotta cannelloni, this baked pasta is fast because there's nothing to stuff. The filling is simply tossed with cooked rigatoni that's then topped with fontina and baked to a golden brown.
  • 1 pound(s) rigatoni
  • 3 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1 package(s) (10-ounce) frozen spinach, thawed
  • 2 cup(s) (about 1 pound) ricotta
  • 5 tablespoon(s) grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground black pepper
  • 6 ounce(s) fontina, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)

  1. Heat the oven to 450°F. Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the rigatoni until almost done, about 12 minutes. Drain. Put the pasta in the prepared baking dish and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
  3. Meanwhile, squeeze as much of the water as possible from the spinach. Put the spinach in a food processor and puree with the ricotta, 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan, the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir in half the fontina.
  4. Stir the spinach mixture into the pasta. Top with the remaining fontina and Parmesan. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over the top. Bake the pasta until the top is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Variation: You can substitute another chunky pasta, such as penne rigate, penne, ziti or fusilli. Boil all of these one or two minutes less.
  6. Wine Recommendation: A delicately flavored white such as Orvieto will complement the mild ricotta nicely. And, because Orvieto is not oaky, the wine has no bitter tannin to clash with the slightly bitter spinach and nutmeg.


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