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Baked pasta shells on wooden spoon

Baked Pasta with Spinach and Ricotta

Easy baked pasta with spinach, ricotta, parmesan, marinara sauce, and mozzarella cheese-a great weeknight meal!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces pasta we used mini shells
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. Cook the pasta according to instructions for al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. 2. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan, and egg. Stir until smooth. Add the garlic, spinach, nutmeg, dried basil, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper.
  3. 3. Put half of the pasta into the prepared baking dish and top with half of the marinara sauce. Spoon the spinach ricotta mixture on top of the sauce in an even layer. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese over the mixture. Cover with the remaining pasta and the remaining sauce. Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  4. 6. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted and the edges are lightly browned. Serve warm.
  5. Note-you can prepare this dish one day ahead of time. Cover the pan with foil and place in the fridge until you are ready to cook. You can also freeze the leftovers. Place cooked pasta in freezer containers and freeze!