You know those dinner ideas you have and then think to yourself, “Do I have enough time to make this?” Well that’s exactly what happened when this creation came about. Other than finding these clever little pasta noodles, I knew I needed a quick meal prep on a Sunday for a slide-in-the-oven dinner the next day (our busiest and latest day being Monday)…..so off went the creativity and out came a beautiful dish for you to enjoy with your family!
- 3 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
- 1 Onion, minced
- 3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- ½ Tbsp Dried Oregano
- ½ tsp each Salt and Pepper
- 450 g Ground Chicken
- 3 Carrots, shredded or finely chopped
- 980 mL Tomato Sauce
- ⅓ Cup Chopped Parsley
- 142 g Baby spinach, washed and chopped (*small clamshell container)
- 250 g Ballerine or Gigli Pasta (or any other fun noodle you choose)
- 350 g Ricotta
- 1 Egg
- 2 Cups Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
- ½ Cup Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large wok, over medium heat, add the oil and heat through. Add the minced onion and garlic sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add the oregano, salt and pepper and allow the flavours to blend.
- Add in the ground chicken and cook throughout, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add in the carrots and sauté for 5-8 minutes.
- Add in the tomato sauce and bring to a light simmer. Once at a simmer, lower the heat and add in the spinach to allow to wilt down and combine with the other ingredients.
- Turn the heat off at this time and leave the meat and vegetable sauce to the side.
- Meanwhile place a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add some salt and the pasta to allow to cook until al dente (*don’t overcook the pasta as it will finish cooking in the oven).
- In a large bowl, add the ricotta and egg and beat to combine. Add the shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain and place into the bowl with the cheese mixture. Evenly toss the pasta with the cheese mixture to combine.
- Add the meat and vegetable sauce to the bowl and stir all ingredients together to combine well.
- Place all ingredients in a large 8×11 casserole and top with fresh grated parmesan cheese.*
- Place foil paper around the casserole and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the foil paper from the casserole and allow to broil for 3-5 minutes so that the dish is golden brown.
- Allow to cool slightly before making separate dishes, topping each dish with a bit more cheese if desired.
*If making this ahead of time, allow the casserole to cool and place foil paper on top prior to placing in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to make this dish (1-2 days later, remove from the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes allowing to broil for 3-5 minutes with the foil paper removed for a crispy top