Saturday, 12 June 2010

Asiago, Spinach, Artichoke and Ricotta Pasta

I remember eating asiago cheese at one of the events we had for the Little Italy exhibition that was down in the museum last year and I've been meaning to buy some ever since. When I came across a recipe for Asiago Spinach and Ricotta Pasta on one of my livejournal communities, although I can't remember which one or who posted the original recipe and I've changed it so much it doesn't really matter, it jogged my memory again and I bought some.

There is a brilliant Italian deli on Farringdon Road in London called Gazzano's, we used them for the catering for the Little Italy events and I have been back many times since to stock up on pasta. So I knew they sold asiago, and that's where I went. I also bought some spinach and ricotta gnocchi and taleggio whilst I was there.

This pasta bake was delicious. I add artichokes to the recipe and a put some cherry tomatoes on top before it went in the oven. The original recipe also said to blitz the ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, nutmeg and salt and pepper in a food processor, but I don't have one so I just did without! I served it with a big side salad with lettuce, avocado, cherry tomatoes and cucumber.

I am entering this into Presto Pasta Nights for next week, hosted by The Sweet Kitchen, as its definitely one worth sharing. Check out the blog for the round up on Friday.

Asiago, Artichoke, Ricotta and Spinach Pasta
(Serves 4)

1 pound rigatoni or tortiglioni
2 cups ricotta cheese
5 ounces uncooked baby spinach leaves
1 can of artichoke hearts, quartered
2 cups semi-soft Asiago cheese, grated
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
5 tbsp Parmesan, grated
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Freshly ground salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 220C.

While waiting for a pot of salted water for the pasta to come to a boil, blanch the spinach, making sure to squeeze out as much excess moisture as you can. Set aside.

When the water boils, cook the pasta for about two minutes short of time on the box.

Whilst the pasta is cooking, mix together the ricotta, spinach, artichokes, Parmesan, nutmeg, a bit of salt and pepper and 1 cup of the asiago in a large bowl.
Drain, and add the pasta to the ricotta mixture and combine thoroughly. Drizzle in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Transfer the pasta and sauce to a baking dish. Top evenly with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil, followed by the rest of the Asiago and Parmesan cheeses. sprinkle the breadcrumbs across the top of the dish.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the top is a nice golden brown.

1 comment:

  1. Whoa - that is some mouth-watering dinner! Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. I love Asiago and this is one tempting way to use it.