Doctoral College

Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Bake

During this year’s Doctoral Wellbeing Fortnight, we asked Doctoral Researchers to contribute towards our PHooD blog series (PhD + Food = PHooD!) by sharing their ‘go-to’ recipes that are tasty and either quick to make and/or nutritious and/or cheap and/or comforting… enjoy!

Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Bake – Recipe by Katrina Duncumb

This is a great one if you need something with very little effort. It’s a bit of a twist on cannelloni, as that’s kind of what I wanted when figuring this out, but couldn’t find/buy any cannelloni shells. It’s vegetarian, but also works with vegan cheese substitutes (a family member gave it a try as vegan and GF, and liked it).

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 400g Chopped Tomatoes (1 tin)
  • 1tbsp Tomato Purée
  • 2tsp Garlic Power (or a few cloves finely chopped)
  • 1tbsp Herbs de Provence (Mixed herbs or Pizza herbs would also probably work here)
  • ½tsp Chili Flakes (basically to taste)
  • 250g Fusilli (most pasta types should work here, I just always have fusilli to hand)
  • 100-150g Spinach
  • 250g Ricotta
  • 1tsp Nutmeg
  • 30g Parmesan (or other hard cheese)
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Boil your pasta, adding the spinach in 2-3mins before it’s done to wilt.
  2. Mix the tomatoes, puree, garlic, herbs, and chili flakes in a bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Drain your pasta and spinach.
  4. Preheat your oven to 220°C.
  5. Return the pasta and spinach to the pan to add the ricotta and nutmeg, then season to taste.
  6. In an ovenproof dish, layer up your pasta mix, followed by the tomato sauce, and grate the parmesan over the top.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20-30mins till bubbling all the way through.

This recipe is pretty forgiving, so you can increase the pasta if you need to feed another person, and you can add other vegetables if you want, just cook them to be ready with the pasta.

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