Avoca Baked Pasta Recipe
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Baked Pasta Recipe with Spinach & Ricotta by Avoca

Warming nutmeg meets mild, creamy ricotta cheese to create a delicious filling that’s generously stuffed into oversized pasta shells. Finished with a light and crunchy breadcrumb topping, this is a baked pasta recipe you’ll come back to again and again.

This baked pasta recipe is from Avoca’s new cookbook AVOCA at Home. The perfect gift for food-lovers and home cooks, Avoca at Home is sure to spread the love of home cooking and of sharing indulgent, comforting, delicious food. Readers can expect a mix of Avoca classics, exciting new dishes, and tips on how to recreate the Avoca experience at home with simple, accessible, and delicious recipes. AVOCA at Home retails for €27.95 can be purchased in store or at www.avoca.com

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 250g conchiglioni (jumbo pasta shells)
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 400g baby spinach
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 200g Greek yogurt
  • 30g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 x 700g jar of tomato passata
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the breadcrumb topping:

  • 70g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 70g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  • Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to the boil.
  • Add the pasta shells and cook for no more than 9 minutes – you want them to be undercooked at this stage.
  • Drain and cool them down by running cold water over them. Drain again, then drizzle with a little bit of oil to stop the shells sticking together. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the spinach and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, just until it has wilted. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the spinach to cool, then squeeze out any moisture and roughly chop it.
  • Put the chopped spinach in a large bowl with the ricotta, yogurt, Parmesan, garlic, lemon zest, basil and nutmeg and mix to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Pour half the tomato passata over the bottom of a large baking dish and season it with salt and pepper.
  • Stuff each shell with the ricotta and spinach mixture, then add the shells to the dish on top of the sauce, stuffed side facing up.
  • Once all the shells have been filled and added to the dish, pour over the remaining passata and another pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and thyme in a small bowl, then pour over the melted butter and toss to combine.
  • Sprinkle this over the top of the pasta, then bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden and the pasta is bubbling.
  • Bring the dish straight to the table to serve family style.
Avoca Baked Pasta Recipe
Baked Pasta Recipe with Spinach & Ricotta by Avoca
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