Pasta Bake with Ground Beef, Ricotta & Spinach

Pasta Bake with Ground Beef, Ricotta & Spinach

Are you looking for something kind of like lasagna but not quite? Some comfort food that is stress free and easy to whip up? Well that was exactly what I was looking for. I had some ricotta that I had to use up before it expired and what better way to use it then to create a pasta dish. Specifically a pasta bake with ground beef, ricotta and spinach. Most the ingredients you probably have somewhere in your fridge or pantry. It’s so easy to make yet so satisfy, your friends or family will thank you for making this. If you’re by yourself, your stomach will love you.

Pasta Bake penne pasta

Pasta

I chose to use penne pasta for this pasta bake which I had in my pantry and found fit for this recipe. I would use any short pasta such as ziti, rigatoni, cavatappi. You don’t want to cook the pasta all the way through, cook it at al dente meaning that it’s still firm to the bite. This allows the pasta to soften even more when it goes into the oven. I’ve seen different variations of this dish where people like to layer the pasta and ricotta/spinach mix in the casserole dish, more of lasagna style. I prefer to mix the pasta and ricotta/spinach mix prior to adding it into the casserole.

Pasta Bake with Ground Beef, Ricotta & Spinach

Ground Beef Sauce

If you do not want meat you can do this step without the meat part. I actually initially was going to make this meatless but my sister insisted on adding ground beef. This sauce mix helps to add a little bit of moisture to the dish. Just like the pasta. I’ve seen recipes where the sauce is added in layers in the casserole dish as well but I decided to keep it all at the top.

When I put the dish in the oven, it did not have any cover. You can also cover the dish with aluminum to avoid drying out the food and then removing it 5 min before taking the dish out. I would definitely try that next time to see if it makes a difference.

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Pasta Bake with Ground Beef, Ricotta, & Spinach

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

Pasta

  • 7 cups dry Penne Pasta
  • 280 g Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Spinach
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Mixed Cheese

Ground Beef Sauce

  • 0.5 kg Ground Beef
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Chicken Knorr Seasoning optional
  • 1 1/2 cup Tomato Sauce

Instructions
 

  • Start by boiling your penne pasta in salted water for 15min or until al dente. Drain
  • On a pan on medium heat, add and break down your ground beef and mix in the salt, pepper, italian seasoning, and chili flakes. Optional: Add chicken knorr seasoning. Cook until meat browns
  • Reduce heat to simmer and had tomato sauce to mix and create your ground beef sauce. Turn off the heat and let rest
  • In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, chopped spinach, salt, pepper, and minced garlic cloves.
  • Once everything is mixed together, blended in drained pasta until evenly coated
  • Turn oven onto 350 degrees
  • In a deep dish casserole, coat the bottom with tomato sauce to prevent from burning
  • Add pasta blend into the dish
  • Top with ground beef sauce and sprinkle shredded mixed cheese on top
  • Insert into the oven and let cook for 25 minute. Once complete, take it out of the oven and let it cool down before serving

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