Main Meals Recipes

Oven Baked Ricotta Pasta Bake

So there’s the TikTok trending baked feta and tomato pasta, and you thought it couldn’t possibly get any easier, and yet here it is. 5 minutes of food prep, bang it in the oven and 45 minutes later you simply stir and serve. It’s perfect for busy mums juggling young children thanks to swapping out the feta for ricotta cheese.

Ricotta cheese is naturally much lower in salt in comparison to feta, containing around 0.3g salt per 100g. In comparison, feta can have up to ten times that amount. Swapping the feta our for ricotta in the recipe reduces the salt per portion from 1.5g to 0.24g. The recommendation for adults is a maximum of 6g per day, and that is an upper limit rather than a target to hit (our bodies actually need less than 1g per day to survive). Too much salt can lead to diseases such a heart disease and high blood pressure, so watching your salt intake is important. For children and babies this recommendation is much lower. The table below, taken from the British Nutrition Foundation shows the maximum salt levels for children at different ages.

I developed this recipe for baby and child nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Read which is suitable for young babies (peel the skins off the cooked cherry tomatoes if serving to young babies without teeth), toddlers and adults, making it the perfect mid-week family dinner when you’re rushed off your feet.

Serves 3 adults, or a family of 4

Ingredients

  • 250g pasta with a 10-12 minute cooking time
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 400g cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tub (250g) ricotta
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp basil, fresh or frozen

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/ 200°C convection
  • In a large oven-proof dish (minimum 1.8l capacity) combine the pasta, oregano and 550ml boiling water. Mix to disperse the oregano evenly.
  • Top with garlic and cherry tomatoes, leaving a space in the centre for the ricotta.
  • Turn the ricotta out into the centre and drizzle the oil over everything.
  • Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, top with the basil and mix everything thoroughly, crushing the tomatoes and the ricotta to make the sauce.

Per serving: 511kcal/ 17.1g fat/ 5.9g saturated fat/ 68.7g carbohydrates/ 4.8g fibre/ 18.2g protein

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