Cheesy Baked Pasta & Spinach with Arugula & Clementine Salad

Cheesy Baked Pasta & Spinach

with Arugula & Clementine Salad

55 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

The key to making a great “pasta al forno,” or oven-baked pasta, is to build layers of flavor. Ours starts with a base of garlicky tomato sauce combined with sautéed spinach and fresh parsley. Elicoidali (a traditional shape for baked pasta) soaks up the sauce beautifully with its ridges. We’re layering the saucy pasta and greens with Fontina and Parmesan, two kinds of cheese for plenty of richness in every bite. On the side, an arugula salad gets a special, seasonal touch from juicy clementines.

Get Cooking
  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    670 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Peel the garlic; mince 3 cloves. Mince the remaining clove; smash with the side of your knife until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Peel and small dice the onion. Place the tomatoes in a bowl; gently break apart with your hands. Grate the Fontina cheese (discarding any rind). Peel the shallot and mince to get 2 tablespoons (you may have extra); place in a bowl with the vinegar. Peel the clementines; separate the segments. Peel the turnips; halve lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.

Cook & drain the spinach:
2 Cook & drain the spinach:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Working in batches, add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes per batch, or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the cooked spinach to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer the cooked spinach to a cutting board with the parsley; finely chop. Transfer to a bowl; add the garlic paste and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the pan.

Make the sauce:
3 Make the sauce:

In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and minced garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened and fragrant. Add the tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 7 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta:
4 Cook the pasta:

While the sauce cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until just shy of al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Assemble & bake the pasta:
5 Assemble & bake the pasta:

Stir the sauce, chopped spinach and parsley and a drizzle of olive oil into the cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer half the pasta mixture to a baking dish. Top with half the Fontina cheese. Repeat with the remaining pasta mixture and Fontina cheese. Top with half the Parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes.

Make the salad & serve your dish:
6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

While the pasta bakes, to make the vinaigrette, slowly whisk 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the shallot-vinegar mixture until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the arugula, clementines and turnips. Add enough of the vinaigrette to coat (you may have extra). Toss to mix; season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish the baked pasta with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Peel the garlic; mince 3 cloves. Mince the remaining clove; smash with the side of your knife until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Peel and small dice the onion. Place the tomatoes in a bowl; gently break apart with your hands. Grate the Fontina cheese (discarding any rind). Peel the shallot and mince to get 2 tablespoons (you may have extra); place in a bowl with the vinegar. Peel the clementines; separate the segments. Peel the turnips; halve lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.

2 Cook & drain the spinach:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Working in batches, add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes per batch, or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the cooked spinach to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer the cooked spinach to a cutting board with the parsley; finely chop. Transfer to a bowl; add the garlic paste and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the pan.

Cook & drain the spinach:
Make the sauce:
3 Make the sauce:

In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and minced garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened and fragrant. Add the tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 7 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Cook the pasta:

While the sauce cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until just shy of al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Assemble & bake the pasta:
5 Assemble & bake the pasta:

Stir the sauce, chopped spinach and parsley and a drizzle of olive oil into the cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer half the pasta mixture to a baking dish. Top with half the Fontina cheese. Repeat with the remaining pasta mixture and Fontina cheese. Top with half the Parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes.

6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

While the pasta bakes, to make the vinaigrette, slowly whisk 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the shallot-vinegar mixture until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the arugula, clementines and turnips. Add enough of the vinaigrette to coat (you may have extra). Toss to mix; season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish the baked pasta with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

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