Pasta Cake


Let them eat "cake" for dinner: Layers of pasta join vegetables and cheese in a fresh take on lasagna that is as easy to make as it is to enjoy eating.


  • Unsalted butter, for pan

  • Coarse salt

  • 1 pound ziti pasta

  • 1 roasted red pepper, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped

  • One 16-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

  • 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese

  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 4 basil leaves, torn

  • ¾ cup freshly grated pecorino cheese

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan; set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt and pasta. Cook pasta until almost al dente. Drain, rinse under cold running water, and drain again. Transfer to a large bowl, and stir in red pepper and spinach; set aside.

  2. In another large bowl, stir to combine ricotta, eggs, basil, pecorino, garlic, and nutmeg; season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl with pasta, and gently stir until well combined. Transfer to prepared pan. Smooth top, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until firm to the touch and the top is golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before unmolding, and serve warm or at room temperature.

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