Tim, sometimes it scares me how much our (great) minds think alike! I made a baked pasta dish a few months back with greens — almost a deconstructed lasagna. It was incredibly delicious but the photos came out so terribly (unlike yours) it will be hard to convince anyone else of that! Perhaps I’ll try yours next and hope my photo mojo will be back by then.
Ha, that is funny Deb! What is even funnier is that I almost didn’t post this one because I didn’t really like the photos. But ultimately I decided it was too good to not share. Maybe baked pasta doesn’t photograph so well? (I know it can’t be us! ha)
I’m a vegetarian personal chef and I don’t make a lot of pasta for my clients because so much of it requires last minute cooking. This looks like a great and hearty dish that they would enjoy putting in the oven. Thanks for sharing!
Wow, this looks really good. I’ll bet if you added about 1/2 pound of sliced mushrooms of your choice to the saute of the garlic, greens etc., it would be even better! (I love dishes like this with cheeses and greens and mushrooms, in any combination!) Thanks for sharing!
I made this for a potluck and ended up embarrassed as it sat untouched on people’s plates. I think the fennel seed was about 50% too much. I used the tablespoon the recipe called for and the taste was so strong as to be gag-inducing. Next time I think I would just skip the spices and use italian sausage. This was probably the worst dish I’ve made in recent memory :(
Sorry Tim–I didn’t mean to be grouchy :( I just can’t figure out what I did wrong. I followed the recipe to the letter, including making fresh ricotta (also your recipe which I love & have been using for a while!) but it just turned out so unappetizing. It looked just like the picture but no one ate it and to me it was overwhelmingly fennel-y. Is some fennel seed more potent than others maybe? The seeds I used were relatively fresh and I just gave them a quick zing in my spice grinder to smash them lightly. I wish I knew how I managed to bork this recipe–it looked great! :(
I made this a couple of nights ago and it was such a success we polished off the lot. The flavours really did taste like sausage. I used French beans instead of greens, and forgot to crush the fennel seeds, but it tasted great. Will definitely make this again, thanks Tim.
I eat cheese with almost every meal, so I’m probably not the best person to ask. Since there are so few ingredients in this dish, they all seem important. You could try adding another vegetable (butternut squash?) but it takes it in another direction. Sorry I’m not more helpful….let me know if you experiment and come up with something good!
I haven’t tried freezing, but my guess is that it won’t freeze well. There isn’t enough to it, and the ricotta will get weird. I would probably just saute and freeze the kale, if I were going to try anything. Then make the dish with frozen kale.
How did I only find your blog now?! I’ve been fast making up for lost time by perusing your wonderful archives. This was by far the most delicious baked pasta I’ve ever made – and also the quickest! Definitely going to make this again and again and again. I was sceptical of the sausage seasoning idea but I’m going to use that concept in so many dishes from now on. That fennel really made the meal.
Sam, I just wanted to respond to your question about lactose-free versions. I was actually looking at this recipe and thinking I would probably sub a raw vegan alfredo for the cheese :) Sounded odd the first time I read about it, but I thought I’d give it a shot… O.O.M.G. … It was insane. By far the BEST alfredo I’ve ever had, and without the saturated fat & cholesterol (as well as mistreated animal friends). You soak almonds in water overnight, and blend with fresh garlic cloves, olive oil, cannelini beans, 1/8 onion, and nutritional yeast, for B-Vitamins and a cheesy taste. It is absolutely amazing. I have to go make some now…!!! lol. You can just Google “raw vegan alfredo” and read through different ones; even look on YouTube for videos. I really love blending in cilantro… Omg tastes amazing! :) And it’s a great chelator; traps & removes heavy metals from our bodies. Awesome side effect of delicious goodness. Have fun! (Sorry this is just a touch after the fact, I’m just now finding this, but thought I’d try commenting anyway :) Have fun trying it out :) )
Also, I sing, but I don’t live in Australia either lol. Totally want to go visit though… Have a great day :)