Baked Spinach Artichoke Pasta with Calabrian Chiles and Crispy Proscuitto
Make this pasta when you really need to apologize to or impress someone. Or make it for a dinner party to impress everyone. The creamy spinach artichoke sauce pairs amazingly with the saltiness of the crispy prosciutto, and the calabrian chiles balance it all out with the perfect amount of heat.
I like using a spiral-shaped pasta so the sauce can hide in the nooks and crannies, but virtually any type of dried pasta would work well – fusilli, shells, cavatappi, rigatoni, etc. The ones in the photo are called gragnano, they’re like a jumbo spiral. When I stop at a specialty Italian grocer, I’ll stock up on a bunch of fun pasta shapes since they have a long shelf life. And then I have more excuses to make more pasta.
Inspired by this classic.
- One 10-oz package frozen spinach, thawed
- 2 oz prosciutto (about 4 slices)
- 8 oz dried pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4-5 jarred calabrian chile peppers, stems removed and chopped
- One 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish (medium sized dish, mine measures 9 x 7 inches).
- Squeeze as much excess moisture out of the thawed spinach as possible. Chop spinach finely and set aside.
- Add the prosciutto to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until crispy, approx 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, roughly chop. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta to package instructions, 2 minutes short of al dente (so if it’s 10 minutes to al dente, cook for 8 minutes). The pasta will finish cooking while it’s baking in the oven. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and calabrian chiles and saute until fragrant, approx 1 minute. Add the spinach, artichoke hearts, a pinch of salt, and several turns of pepper and stir to combine.
- Stir in the cream and milk and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cooked pasta and prosciutto. Transfer contents to the casserole dish, and top with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown on top.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.