The dry rotini pasta swims in a mixture of ricotta cheese, evaporated milk, water, italian herbs, Dijon mustard, a dash of fresh nutmeg, spinach and chopped ham in a large baking dish. This is placed in the oven to bake for about a half hour - the only work you need to do is to stir it twice during that time. As it gets closer to the 30 minute mark, you will notice how thick the liquid turned and how the pasta has gotten tender without turning to mush. For a fantastic finish, fresh bread crumbs and asiago cheese are scattered on top of the hot pasta and it goes back into the oven until it turns crispy and golden. This dish has a creamy, but not soggy or wet consistency to it and after a 10 minute rest, could easily be cut into and held its shape well - much like a lasagna. Using evaporated milk gave a nice rich mouth feel to the dish, but kept it a little lighter than if you used heavy cream. The diced ham gave a nice salty counterpoint, but you could keep this an all-veggie dish by replacing the ham with chickpeas or maybe even some meaty sautéed portobellos.
Spinach Ricotta Rotini