Cooking with fresh pasta is simply a treat, whether it’s filled pasta like ravioli or tortellini, or plain pasta like fettuccine or angel hair. The texture is different from fresh, and I was very pleased to discover a new line of Buitoni pastas that not only are stuffed with interesting fillings (such as asparagus and artichokes), but the pasta itself is also made with real spinach, so you are doubling down. You can make this in a traditional square lasagna pan, or in an oval or round pan since you definitely don’t need to cut it into squares to serve.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 2 cups whole milk
- Freshly grated nutmeg to taste (optional)
- Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 (9-ounce) packages Buitoni Spinach and Artichoke Ravioli or 3 Cheese Asparagus Ravioli, or a combination
- 1 (6-ounce) package or can artichoke hearts, frozen and defrosted, canned or vacuum sealed, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9x9-inch square pan, or another 1 1/2 to 2-quart baking dish, with nonstick cooking spray.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta.
In a large deep saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute until the mixture turns golden. Add the spinach and cook until barely wilted, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Gradually stir in the milk, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Allow to simmer for a minute or two, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Season with the nutmeg, if desired, and salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan.
Meanwhile, combine the ricotta cheese, lemon zest, and garlic in a bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper.
When the water comes to a boil, season with salt, let it return to a boil, and cook the pasta according to package directions, stopping just before it becomes completely cooked.
Spoon just enough creamy spinach sauce in the bottom of a lasagna dish to lightly coat it. Top with half of the ravioli, then top the pasta with a layer of half of the ricotta mixture, and half of the chopped artichokes. Spoon over half of the remaining creamy spinach sauce , then sprinkle over half of the Parmesan. Repeat these layers. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until everything browns and bubbles. Run the lasagna under the broiler for a final minute to brown the top if desired.