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Published September 22, 2009, 12:00 AM

CHEF JEFF — ONE BYTE AT A TIME: Baked Rigatoni with Spinach

One of my favorite recipes is rigatoni with broccoli. So, when I saw this recipe, which is in “Quick from Scratch Italian Cookbook” from Food and Wine Magazine, my mouth started to water.

By: Herald Staff Report,

One of my favorite recipes is rigatoni with broccoli. So, when I saw this recipe, which is in “Quick from Scratch Italian Cookbook” from Food and Wine Magazine, my mouth started to water.

Baked Rigatoni with Spinach

1 pound rigatoni

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed

2 cups (1 pound) ricotta

5 tablespoons grated Parmesan

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

6 ounces fontina, grated (about 1½ cups)

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the rigatoni almost done, about 12 minutes. Drain. Put pasta in prepared baking dish and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Meanwhile, squeeze as much of water as possible from spinach. Put in a food processor and puree with ricotta, 3 tablespoons of Parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir in half the fontina.

Stir the spinach mixture into the pasta. Top with the remaining fontina and Parmesan. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over the top. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Yield: Serves 4.

Grab more food tidbits at the Chef Jeff blog at GrandForksHerald.com.

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