Pasta, Recipes

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake

This pasta bake recipe features the classic flavors of Spinach Artichoke Dip

Do you love Spinach and Artichoke Dip? I totally do! So I figured why not turn it into an easy pasta dish! It’s simple to make and delicious – just toss the pasta with the thick, creamy spinach & artichoke sauce and top with panko and Parmesan mixture. After 25 minutes of bake time, you’ll have a flavorful yummy dish that is sure to please your entire family!

Pasta bake recipes are perfect to make ahead! You can totally add some chicken to this bake to make this into a more filling meal, or leave it out. Completely your choice.

Looking to make this even easier? Just buy a container of Spinach Artichoke dip, stir in with the cooked pasta and bake.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 8  ounces medium pasta shells
  • 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • ¼  teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 10  ounces fresh baby spinach, or frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
  • 1  (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2  cups heavy cream (1 pint)
  • 4  ounces grated Parmesan (about 1 cup)
  •  Black pepper
  • 4  ounces grated mozzarella (about 1 cup)

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup Panko
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese , grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

INSTRUCTIONS 

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Turn down to medium-high, and cook the pasta according to package instructions until 2 minutes short of al dente (the pasta will finish cooking in the oven). Drain and reserve.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium. Add the onion, garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the spinach little by little until wilted, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chopped artichokes.

Stir in the cream and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. 

Stir in the Parmesan until melted. 

Remove from the heat then carefully stir in the cooked pasta, or transfer to a large bowl to mix together, if necessary. The liquid might appear wet and loose, but it will thicken up as it bakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the pasta to a 2-quart casserole dish. 

In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, Parmesan and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the pasta dish.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbling around the edges and topping is lightly browned. 

Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipes

Pear & Pecorino Ravioli with Pancetta and Walnuts

Ravioli stuffed with a fresh pear and cheese filling and sauteed in a buttery sauce with crispy pancetta, this ravioli recipe is a fancy dinner made easy!

The sweetness of the pears complements the salty and creamy cheese filling of these easy ravioli. It’s sweet and savory, my two favorite flavors! 

As you know by now, I love making homemade pasta and that doesn’t stop with the basics like spaghetti and fettuccine – I also enjoy making homemade ravioli. 

First, you will want to make the filling. 

Peel and core the pears. Then using the fine side of a box grater, grate the pears and Pecorino into a bowl and combine. Add ¼ cup of  the mascarpone, 2 Tbsp. of the chopped parsley, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set to the side. 

If you are making your own pasta, which I highly recommend, follow my Homemade Pasta recipe blog post. 

If you don’t want to make your own pasta dough, you can also use store bought wonton wrappers to cut down on time.

Roll pasta dough into long strips.  I used a pasta machine attachment on my stand mixer to make it easier.

Press a ravioli cutter stamp or circle cookie cutter into the flour and then press down firmly to cut out raviolis or wonton wrapper. Place on a prepared lightly floured cookie sheet. 

This is a ravioli cutter, I purchased from Williams Sonoma.

Scoop about 2 tsp. of the filling into the center of the ravioli. Place another ravioli round on top. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, moisten the exposed pasta around the filling. Starting in the center, gently press and shape the dough around each mound, working out to the sides and forcing out any air. 

Repeat this process until all ravioli is made.  Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

In a large pot of boiling water, add ravioli and once they float to the top, cook another couple of minutes, save about ¼ cup of the water and drain the rest. You will want to use the reserved pasta water to help thicken the sauce later.

For the sauce, melt the butter and sauté the shallots and garlic. I love shallots, while similar in taste to an onion, I think they have a bit more “refined” flavor and are more delicate, and softer. 

Once the shallots and garlic are slightly brown, add in the chopped pancetta. Pancetta is an Italian salami made of pork belly meat that is salt cured. You can find pancetta in the deli at most local grocery stores, like Publix. If you can not find Pancetta, bacon will work too. Cook the pancetta until crispy. 

Add the stuffed ravioli to the same pan, and coat with the buttery sauce for about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the reserved pasta water, a tablespoon at a time into the pan, this will thicken the sauce slightly. Continue to sauté the ravioli for about 2 more minutes, you want to heat the ravioli all the way through. Lastly, stir in the chopped parsley. 

Place the cooked ravioli on a plate, spoon the buttery sauce over the top and sprinkle with toasted chopped walnuts. Yum! 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 lb. Bartlett pears, peeled and cored
  • 8 oz. Pecorino Toscano cheese
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. fresh pasta
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped pancetta
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 3 Tbs. chopped toasted walnuts

DIRECTIONS

Using the fine side of a box grater, grate the pears and Pecorino into a bowl. Add the mascarpone, 2 Tbsp. of the parsley, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Kitchen Aid Pasta Roller: Using the roller attachment, roll the pasta into a thin sheet and cut into 12-inch-long pieces.

Hand method: Roll out the pasta and cut into 12-inch-long pieces. 

Press a ravioli cutter stamp or circle cookie cutter into the flour and then press down firmly to cut out raviolis. Place on a prepared floured tray.

Scoop about 2 tsp. of the filling into the center of the ravioli. Place another ravioli round on top. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, moisten the exposed pasta around the filling. Starting in the center, gently press and shape the dough around each mound, working out to the sides and forcing out any air.

Transfer the ravioli to a lightly floured baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cooking.

Bring a large pot two-thirds full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add half of the ravioli and cook until they float and are al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the ravioli to paper towels to drain. Repeat to cook the remaining ravioli. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water.

In a large, deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Sauté the chopped shallots and garlic for 2-3 minutes. In the same pan, add the pancetta and cook until crispy. Season with salt and pepper. Add the ravioli and gently stir to coat with the butter. Add the reserved cooking water as needed to create a sauce. Stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. parsley.

Transfer the ravioli to a warmed serving bowl, sprinkle with the walnuts and serve.

 Inspired by Lidia Bastianich