This “casserole” is sort of like a deliciously lighter version of lasagna, and melds together some of my favorite fall ingredients. Spinach is one of those items thatI like to buy organic, because it is on that “dirty dozen” list. Essentially, pesticide is really good at sticking to the leafy spinach and so if you can buy or grow organic, go for it. Farfalle is bowtie pasta, and you can really use any kind of pasta you like, this would also be delicious with penne rigate.
3 links of Italian sausage
1/2 bag spinach (about 5 oz)
2 tbsp butter
1/2 box farfalle
3/4 c ricotta cheese
1 c sharp white cheddar cheese (shredded)
extra version olive oil
salt and pepper
1. Fill a pot (or saucepan as I did) 3/4 way with water and add a bit of salt, put on a high burner. When the water boils, cook your pasta according to the instructions on the package.
2. Saute sausage in a pan with a tbsp of olive oil and a little salt and pepper allowing the sausage to brown on all sides. When sausage is done, add spinach and about 1/2 c of water. When the spinach is just wilted, remove from heat.
3. Preheat oven to 350. Pour pasta into a casserole dish and add 2 tbsp butter, and your sausage spinach mixture making sure to include all the pan juices. Add shredded sharp white cheddar and mix, reserving some for top. Using a teaspoon, put blobs of ricotta cheese all around and toss gently so that some are intermixed. Do not over mix.
4. Put a thin layer of shredded cheese and a few ricotta blobs on top, and then put dish into oven and cook for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and the top starts to turn golden brown.
5. Remove from oven and serve hot! Enjoy!
Tell me your variations, I’d love to hear! As always in my kitchen, measurements are approximations, and you should change them based on your taste and personal preference. Can’t wait to hear about your version!