Recipes

Baked Rigatoni with Spinach & Fontina

I’ve got a yummy recipe to share! Jeremy and I originally found this recipe in an Italian cooking magazine a few years ago. We’ve made it several times and it just doesn’t get old. If you like cheesy, spinachy, pasta goodness- this dish will please you!

Baked Rigatoni with Spinach, Ricotta, and Fontina
This is from Google images, but looks just as good as if it came out of my kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 10 oz package of frozen spinach, thawed & drained
  • 16 oz ricotta cheese (I use whole milk ricotta)
  • 5 tablespoons parmesan (I use the Friga brand shredded parmesan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded fontina (This is not for sale at all grocery stores. Walmart NEVER has it, but actual grocery stores do tend to carry it. I do not think it would be a problem to substitute your favorite cheese instead of fontina. As long as it melts well. Provel might be tasty!)

Directions

  • Heat up that oven! 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×13 dish.
  • Boil the rigatoni in salted water. Cook til al dente, or about 2 minutes under the suggested cook time. (About 12 minutes)
  • Prepare the good stuff… In a medium mixing bowl, combine ricotta, 3 tablespoons of parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1 cup of fontina, and the drained spinach. (Note: In the original recipe, it is suggested that you puree the ricotta with the spinach. Since frozen spinach is chopped and already in small pieces, I like the skip this step. Plus, food processors are not my favorite thing to clean up.)
  • When the pasta is cooked and drained, pour it into the baking dish. Toss it with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in spinach and cheese mixture. Make sure it is well combined to ensure enough cheese and pasta are in every bite!
  • Top with the remaining oil, parmesan, and fontina.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until some of the cheese turns golden brown. This dish is best served hot!

Notes

  • Some recipe reviews claim that this dish is too dry. I beg to differ. It’s not a creamy and gooey pasta dish, and that’s okay because it’s not supposed to be! It’s on the lighter side of Italian pasta bakes.
  • Try this recipe with another type of cheese and let me know how it is!
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