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Gluten free, FODMAP friendly spinach and ricotta pasta bake from www.georgeats.com | @georgeats

Gluten free Spinach and ricotta pasta bake (FODMAP friendly)

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Servings 6 large serves

Equipment

  • 31cmL x 23cmW x 5cmH

Ingredients
  

For the lactose free ricotta:

  • 2 litres lactose free full cream milk (can be fresh or long life)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste

For the ricotta spinach pasta mixture:

  • 400 g gluten free pasta of choice (I used rigatoni)
  • 1 400g batch of ricotta (see above)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup milk of choice to loosen the ricotta (I used soy because I ran out of lactose free)
  • 1/2 cup pasta water reserved from cooking the pasta
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 100 g freshly grated parmesan no pre-grated stuff pls
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/2 teaspoon regular chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped capers or a handful of pitted olives
  • Generously cracked pepper
  • Sea salt flakes to taste
  • 1 large bunch spinach (mine was 500g well rinsed and chopped)
  • 1 bunch basil

For the passata mixture:

  • 1 700 g jar of passata
  • 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Generous salt and cracked pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons oregano optional

To finish:

  • 200 g+ fresh mozzarella
  • Freshly and finely grated parmesan for sprinkling
  • Salt and pepper to finish

Instructions
 

To make the ricotta:

  • Divide the milk into 2 medium saucepans and place them over medium heat. Allow the milk to get to the point where the top of it is covered in tiny little bubbles, and it looks like it might start bubbling over. How long this takes depends on your stove and the heat you've place the milk on - anywhere from 5-10 minutes.
  • Once the milk is gently bubbling, turn the heat off and add the lemon juice. Stir gently, only just to distribute the acid in the milk. Allow to sit for 15 minutes – the mixture should have curdled and become obvious ‘curds and whey.’ There should be ricotta like lumps of milk and a semi-transparent lemon coloured liquid.
  • If the liquid is still milky and completely opaque, return the ricotta to a gentle heat until it begins to separate, and then take it off the heat again. You can add a little extra acid (a teaspoon at a time) as an insurance policy, although this might affect the taste of the final product.
  • Once you have left the mixture to sit for 15 minutes, the mixture should have obviously separated into the two distinct elements. Gently pour the ricotta through a sieve lined with muslin cloth or a nut milk bag. You can discard the whey or use it in smoothies or baking – see notes for a few more ideas.
  • Strain the ricotta for around 5 minutes - just enough to get a bit of liquid off. This quantity should make around 400g+ ricotta. Once it’s drained, place it in a large bowl.

To make the ricotta spinach pasta mixture:

  • Bring a large pot of well salted water to the boil. Once ready, add the pasta and cook for 1/2 the time the packet suggests. Take some pasta water and set it aside for use later, and then strain the pasta.
  • While the pasta is cooking, mix together the ricotta with the remaining ingredients for the mixture, except for the spinach and basil. Season and adjust according to your taste before adding the spinach, basil and drained pasta. Stir well to combine.
  • Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 31cmL x 23cmW x 5cmH rectangular baking dish atop a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit.

To make the passata mixture:

  • Mix all the ingredients for the pasta together and adjust for taste.

To assemble:

  • Layer the passata over the spinach ricotta mixture and top it with the grated mozzarella. Place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any drizzles) and cover (without touching) with foil. Cook for 20-30 minutes covered, and then an additional 10-20 uncovered. Once the cheese is browned to your liking, remove from the oven and serve.