Baked Penne with Spinach & Ricotta



I had pasta sauce in the jar left-over from a previous meal and about 1/2 a small container of ricotta cheese and fresh spinach so I put this together for a meal for two.


half box of whole grain penne pasta (boiled in salted water, slightly undercooked)

1/2 small container of ricotta cheese

dash of dried basil and oregano

dash of salt and pepper

1 egg, slightly beaten in a small bowl

1/2 jar pasta sauce of your choice

two handfuls of fresh baby spinach


While pasta is cooking prepare other ingredients. Do not pour pasta water down the drain, spoon pasta out with a strainer and set aside when it is done.

Spray one medium size baking dish (or two large ramekins) with vegetable oil.

In small bowl with egg, add ricotta, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir with fork to combine and set aside (you could add parmiggiano reggiano to it at this point if you like).

Drop two handfuls of fresh spinach into hot (almost boiling) pasta water and allow to blanch while you  add pasta sauce to cooked pasta and stir. Place half the pasta and sauce in bottom of baking dish. strain spinach and place on top of pasta with sauce. Then add the ricotta mixture. You can also add grated mozzarella cheese at this time or on top. Add the rest of the pasta covered in sauce and top with cheese of your choice (I added a little grated parmiggiano reggiano and a slice provolone).

Place ramekins on a baking sheet (or place larger baking dish directly on oven rack) and bake in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes. Allow to rest slightly before serving. Quick yummy meal for two, perfect with a glass of red wine of your choice.


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