Spinach and Ricotta Baked Pasta from Awesome on 20

Spinach and Ricotta Baked Pasta

Spinach and Ricotta Baked Pasta from Awesome on 20

This cheesy spinach and ricotta baked pasta saved the day.

You see, I had a dilemma. I don’t really care for leftovers most of the time. I get bored easily. It’s a thing. But I also can’t afford to waste food. If there’s a bowl of spinach and ricotta mixture left over from calzone grilled cheese sitting in my refrigerator, I can’t just let it go to waste. That bowl is probably worth two bucks. It hurts my heart to waste.

Spinach and Ricotta Baked Pasta from Awesome on 20

 

Luckily, there was also some macaroni and a half empty jar of pasta sauce kickin’ around my kitchen. And since Emily went home, and it’s now just the two of us again, I had just enough ingredients lying around to make something completely new without leaving the house or spending another dime. Super score!

What’s better than gooey cheesy pasta with hidden spinach and tomato sauce for added flavor, texture, and a slight decrease in guilt. Of course, putting a slice of provolone over the whole thing can only make this situation a whole lot brighter. A perfect, individual one pot dinner that takes about five minutes of actual effort and helps you clean out your fridge and pantry. There are so many ways this recipe is winning. 

Spinach and Ricotta Baked Pasta from Awesome on 20

Oh, and it’s vegetarian, so you can share it with your veggie friends. Yay! I love my veggie friends. And I love pasta and cheese. And I really love saving money. Eating, though, eating is definitely the best part.

Spinach Ricotta Baked Pasta
Serves 2
Individual baked pasta with spinach, ricotta, tomato sauce, and topped with melted provolone. A great way to use up leftovers in a whole new way.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 4-6 ounces small pasta, I used macaroni
  2. 1/2 cup spinach and ricotta mixture
  3. 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  4. 2 slices provolone
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In a medium pot, boil pasta until al dente. I always cook mine one minute less than the box suggests. Drain pasta.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, stir together spinach and ricotta mixture, tomato sauce, and cooked pasta.
  4. Spoon into ramekins and top with a slice of provolone.
  5. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet to make transport easier and to catch possible drips.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes to heat through and brown the cheese.
  7. Let cool for 10 minutes and dig in. Pat yourself on the back for not being wasteful and for making a delicious dinner.
Notes
  1. Amounts are approximate. We're using up leftovers here, so get creative and use up whatever you have.
http://awesomeon20.com/
Check us out at Chef in Training's link party
Check us out at Chef in Training’s link party
Calzone grilled cheese from Awesome on 20

Calzone Grilled Cheese

Calzone grilled cheese from Awesome on 20

They tell me it’s National Sandwich Month. I’m ready to celebrate, as I’m a carboholic and wrapping food, especially cheese, in bread is sort of my favorite thing. I think I can get into this. Let’s celebrate.

August also means it’s time to go back to school. When I was a teacher this meant that the rest of my life completely fell apart. After the slow long summer evenings, the shock of returning to work left me exhausted. Putting my high heels back on left my feet stupid tired. Cooking dinner was pretty much the last thing I wanted to do. Grilled cheese seems doable. And delicious. And almost as comforting as a pillow.

Calzone grilled cheese from Awesome on 20

And here’s a crazy thing. This grilled cheese has a vegetable. What? Yes, that’s spinach in there. Between two slices of melty provolone is a blend of ricotta, parmesan, and chopped spinach. You’re gonna have bulging forearms in a second. Watch out!

This grilled cheese has all the gooey wonderfulness of a calzone without that whole yeast dough folding baking taking forever making your kitchen hot thing. Plus, dipped in tomato soup, as all grilled cheese sandwiches should be, it’s almost like dipping your calzone in marinara sauce. And there’s crunchy bread. It’s pretty awesome.

Calzone grilled cheese from Awesome on 20

Happy Sandwich Month! Crunchy, gooey, wonderful. Do it!

Calzone Grilled Cheese
Serves 4
Melty provolone and a ricotta spinach mixture come together in a grilled cheese sandwich packed with cheese and vitamins
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 box frozen spinach, thawed
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 10 grinds pepper
  6. 2 shakes ground nutmeg
  7. 1 cup ricotta cheese
  8. 1/3 cup shaved parmesan (or grated, use what you have)
  9. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  10. butter, softened
  11. 8 slices sandwich bread
  12. 8 slices provolone
Instructions
  1. Ring out as much water as possible from your thawed spinach.
  2. In a skillet, add oil and heat to medium. Cook garlic for about a minute or until you start to smell it.
  3. Add spinach and break it up in the pan. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook until heated through.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, mix spinach and garlic, ricotta and parmesan cheeses, and oregano. Adjust seasonings if needed.
  5. Place a slice of provolone on one piece of bread, spread two or three heaping spoonfuls of spinach ricotta mixture over bread. Top with another slice of provolone and then your second piece of bread.
  6. Butter the outside of one piece of bread and place your sandwich, butter side down, in a skillet over medium heat.
  7. While cooking, butter the outside of the other side of the sandwich.
  8. Cook 3 to 5 minutes per side.
  9. Cut in half, dip in soup, and see how far you can stretch your cheese.
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Adapted from Rachael Ray
http://awesomeon20.com/
*This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link.

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Don’t miss my all time favorite, cholesterol sandwich.

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Spicy Southwest Burgers from Awesome on 20

Spicy Southwest Burgers

Spicy Southwest Burgers from Awesome on 20

It’s hot! It’s time to cook outside! And keep it spicy! Supposedly, spicy food makes you sweat, which is supposed to cool you down. I don’t know if it works, but it’s definitely delicious.

My English husband loves spicy food. He’s happiest eating something loaded with habaneros or a vindaloo so hot it makes him cry. I find this ironic since English food is generally pretty bland. We’re also talking about a guy who ate nothing but chips and tomato soup for 18 years. But these days, he wants chiles in everything.

Spicy Southwest Burgers from Awesome on 20

I like a little heat, but I can’t quite handle the deathray status at which my husband prefers his food. These burgers, studded with green chiles and hot salsa,  have a definite heat to them, but they won’t blow your head off. Feel free to add habanero sauce to boost your heat level.

I served these at a picnic at the beach over the weekend. Everybody loved them, even though somehow the buns didn’t make it into the bag. It could have been my fault. It probably wasn’t. But it could have been. Definitely wasn’t.

Spicy Southwest Burgers from Awesome on 20

The point is, they’re just that good. This burger is loaded with flavor. Get outside and make it now.

Spicy Southwest Burgers
Yields 12
A juicy burger with a spicy Southwest flair
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 ounce can of chopped green chiles
  2. 12 crackers, crushed
  3. 1/4 cup picante sauce (I used hot)
  4. 4 teaspoons chili powder
  5. 1 tablespoon cumin
  6. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  9. 2 pounds ground beef
  10. 1/2 pound hot pork sausage
  11. 12 slices colby jack or pepper jack cheese
  12. 12 hamburger buns
  13. Your favorite burger toppings
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine chiles, crackers, picante sauce, and seasonings. Give it a quick stir to combine.
  2. Add meats and quickly work everything together by squishing it with your hands.
  3. Form into 8 to 12 burger patties depending on how many people you want to feed.
  4. Grill over medium high heat for 5 to 7 minutes. (You can also make these in a frying pan indoors. I did both.)
  5. Place a slice of cheese on each patty for the last minute or two to let it melt a bit.
  6. Build your burger and let the fiesta begin.
Adapted from Circle of Friends
Adapted from Circle of Friends
http://awesomeon20.com/
Check us out at Chef in Training's link party
Check us out at Chef in Training’s link party
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