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Spinach-and-Herb Pastatta

Photo: Melina Hammer; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham
Hands-on time 40 mins
Total time 1 hr, 45 mins
Yield Makes 8 servings
Introducing the pastatta: a comforting, hearty casserole that's a cross between baked pasta and frittata.

Ingredients

  • 1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 (16-oz.) package mezze penne pasta
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large shallots, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) freshly shredded Asiago cheese, divided
  • 10 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Garnishes: fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, shaved Parmesan cheese

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Drain spinach well, pressing between paper towels.

  2. Prepare pasta according to package directions.

  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add shallots, and sauté 5 minutes or until golden brown. Whisk in flour until smooth; cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in half-and-half; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Whisk in ricotta and 1/2 cup Asiago cheese until smooth. Remove from heat.

  4. Whisk eggs in a bowl until frothy. Fold in shallot mixture, spinach, parsley, and next 3 ingredients. Stir in cooked pasta.

  5. Sprinkle 1/4 cup Asiago cheese on inside rim of a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan. Pour pasta mixture into pan.

  6. Bake at 325° for 55 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until set. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove sides of pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Asiago cheese.