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Winter Squash And Spinach Pasta Bake

By Ellen Fruchtman, President

Smitten Kitchen has always been a great go-to for just about any recipe. Here’s a new one that’s been tried and devoured. Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi, another one of my favorite chefs! Get it now.

Winter Squash And Spinach Pasta Bake

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 8

Equipment

  • 9-inch springform pan, 11 to 12-inch ovenproof skillet, or 9x13 baking dish

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Fontina cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • freshly grated nutmeg (Optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces baby spinach roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons thinly-sliced sage leaves Or 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves (optional)
  • 1 1/4 pounds Butternut or other sturdy winter squash Peeled, seeded, sliced thin or prepared chunks. sliced thin
  • 8 ounces dried pasta Broken into pieces if large/long (Recommended: Mafaldine or Reginette or classic ruffle-edged Lasagna noodles)

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 350°F (176°C). Line a 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch sides (see Note) with a sling of parchment paper, pressing it across the bottom and creasing the sides to get it to fit as best as possible. If the sides aren’t well covered, repeat with the second piece of parchment in the other direction.
  • Whisk egg and ricotta in a large bowl. Stir in half of the parmesan, fontina, water, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, a few gratings of fresh nutmeg, lots of freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Stir in squash, spinach, and sage or thyme, if using. Add dried noodles and stir until everything is coated.
  • Pour into prepared pan and press gently so everything is in as even of a layer as possible. Sprinkle with the second half of parmesan. Gently fold any parchment that extends over the rim of the pan into the center and cover the pan tightly with foil. Bake on a sheet (for extra security against drips) for 1 hour, then remove foil, reopen the parchment folded over the top, and drizzle the dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Return to the oven uncovered for 30 minutes. Pasta will be baked through and the top will be crisp. If it doesn’t have as much color as you’d like on top, you can finish it under the broiler for a minute or two.
  • Cool in pan on a rack for 30 minutes before removing the springform ring, sliding the pasta bake by its parchment onto a serving plate, and cut it into wedges.
  • I recommend a 30-minute rest at minimum (what you see here in the loose slices) but it will be cleaner to cut and more set the longer it hangs out.
  • *This keeps in the fridge for up to 1 week. Rewarm uncovered in a 350-degree oven.

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