Pasta al Forno con Funghi Pleurotus e Spinaci

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Whenever I have a big crowd at my table, or in the case of my parents’ visit, multiple meals to cover over a long period, I always find that a pasta al forno is an easy solution. With Oma and Opa keeping my daughter occupied after her nap, I was able to whip this up one afternoon, which fed us for dinner that night and lunch the next day. My mother said it was the best pasta she had eaten up to that point on her trip.

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It is all about the ingredients and though I went to my freezer for a few of the ingredients, sausages and spinach, the rest were local. Fresh ricotta from a farm in Martina Franca, I met the sheep that made the milk! Enormous pleurotus mushrooms, whose name it has taken me ages to figure out, we found these at the Thursday market, 2 a kilo, they wouldn’t fit in my fridge. Our neighbors canned the tomatoes and generously gave us a few jars, Southern Italy at its best!

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Pasta al Forno con Funghi Pleurotus e Spinaci

  • 1 lb ziti
  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta
  • 2½ to 3 cups ragù or tomato sauce (I made a simple ragù with sausages, recipe can be found here)
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino cheese, or a combination
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 grams mushrooms, pleutorus or any other large mushroom
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed (fresh would also be great, but frozen works as well)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Clean and slice your mushrooms. Saute them in a pan with the olive oil until they have released their juices, add the spinach at this point and cook until the juices have evaporated.

Cook the ziti in boiling salted water until it is almost tender enough to eat, about 2 minutes less than usual.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, blend 2 tablespoons of the ragù into the ricotta.

Spread about ¾ cup of the ragù on the bottom of a 9- by 13- by 2-inch baking dish or a round or oval dish of similar capacity (about 3½  quarts).

When the ziti is done, drain it well, then toss it with the ricotta.

Spread half of the pasta in the baking dish. Evenly spoon over it ¾ cup more ragù. Cover with the mushroom, spinach and ½ cup of the Parmigiano. Top with the rest of the pasta, 1 cup more ragù, and the remaining ½ cup grated cheese.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until bubbling.

Let the casserole cool for 10 minutes before cutting it into portions. Serve hot.

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One Year Ago: Relais Histò

Two Years Ago: Herb Crusted Pork Loin

~ by italicious on January 20, 2013.

One Response to “Pasta al Forno con Funghi Pleurotus e Spinaci”

  1. This looks amazing!

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