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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Baked Pasta with Spinach, Ricotta and Proscuitto

I've been holding onto this recipe for awhile, trying to decide if I wanted to make it. It sounds good and all, but I'm honestly not that crazy about cooked spinach. I love it raw in salads, but cooked, eh, not so much. But I decided to give it ago. It's a Martha recipe and if you've been reading my blog for awhile you know I run hot and cold with her recipes. Sometimes they're great, sometimes they suck. This one I'd put in between. That could be my own doing though because I do try to reduce the amount of fat that goes into my food (sometimes... don't look at pepperoni pizza meatloaf for an example of cutting calories! lol)

Start by cooking a pound of gemelli pasta. I'm sure you can use a different shape but this is what the recipe calls for, I already love the shape and I found it to be perfect for this recipe. Cook just a little less than al dente. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven. While the pasta is cooking, mix together 2 cups of ricotta cheese, 2 cups of milk, 1 (or 2, or 5) cloves of garlic chopped, about 5 - 6 slices of very thin proscuitto sliced into pieces, 2 boxes of chopped frozen spinach (thawed and then as much moisture squeezed out as possible) and salt and pepper.

Once the pasta is done, toss with the ricotta mixture and put in the 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with a little more proscuitto and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

It really is a very simple dish and I guess if you use whole milk ricotta and whole milk, plus the best (read EXPENSIVE) proscuitto, it might be a bit tastier. As it was, I found it a little bland. I wonder if the addition of kalamata olives would help. I've been thinking that would add another nice level of flavor to it.

All in all, this was not something I would make again unless I change a lot of it. Live and learn!


Karen said...

needs basil! I can't help myself, I love the stuff!

Kathy said...

Basil would be good, or I even had a brief thought about mint. But basil would probably be better.