Filled pasta gratin with spinach and crème fraîche

This speedy filled pasta gratin with spinach and crème fraîche is a seriously impressive supper – especially when you consider that it only uses five basic ingredients. Store-bought filled pasta is the star of the show in the easy, cheesy bake – you can choose your favourite flavour or mix and match to suit your diner’s tastes. Once that’s sorted, it’s a case of stir, sizzle under the grill and serve – simple as that!

Filled pasta gratin with spinach and creme fraiche
Chris Alack

SERVES 4

2 x 250g packs good-quality fresh filled pasta of your choice
500g young spinach
2 garlic cloves
100g parmesan
200g crème fraîche

1. Have ready 2 packs good-quality fresh filled pasta of your choice and the young spinach. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves and grate the parmesan.

2. In a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat, fry the spinach with the garlic in batches, with a splash or two of good olive oil, tossing constantly until the greens just wilt. Set aside. Preheat the grill to high and cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

3. At the same time, in a small pan, combine the crème fraîche with half the parmesan, a little freshly grated nutmeg and some seasoning and bring gently to the boil. Drain the cooked pasta, return it to the pan, pour in the cream mixture and toss well to combine. Season and reheat the spinach.

4. Discarding any excess liquid, arrange the spinach in the base of a 20cm x 30cm ovenproof dish. Spoon the pasta and sauce on top, scatter over the remaining parmesan and drizzle with a little more oil. Set under the grill for 3-4 minutes until golden and sizzling. Serve straight away.

PERFECT SIDE A salad of mixed tomatoes and chopped shallots with olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Recipe by Annie Bell. Food styling by Clare Lewis. Styling by Sue Radcliffe.