There are very few things that can beat pasta for me…. I absolutely love it. I love that pasta can be heavy like our Pumpkin Mac and Cheese or light, like this one. I love that you can combine it with almost anything, from brown butter and walnuts to kale to shrimp, spinach and briny feta cheese. Most of all, though, I love that it’s fast. This will take less than 25 minutes and would work for one, two or a crowd. Just double or triple the recipe and enjoy.
How to make Baked Ziti with Shrimp and Spinach
Start by bringing a big pot of salted water to the boil then cook your pasta according to the directions found on the back of the box. While that happens, you can make our zesty quick tomato sauce which, by the way, is perfect by itself tossed with pasta. You will need canned tomatoes, minced garlic, red pepper flakes and lemon zest.
Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a saucepan over medium heat then add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook about 30 seconds until the garlic begins to lightly brown.
Add the tomatoes, lemon zest and a pinch of salt then cook until warmed through.
Just set the sauce aside and move onto seasoning the shrimp. Add about a teaspoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt then toss.
By now, the pasta should be cooked, go ahead and drain it and add to a large bowl. Then, top with the tomato sauce, shrimp …
…crumbled feta cheese…
… and some thawed frozen spinach. Before adding the spinach, make sure you squeeze it dry.
Toss everything together and slide into a baking dish.
Then, evenly sprinkle with some more feta cheese, dried breadcrumbs and an extra drizzle of olive oil and bake in the oven for just about 10 minutes. You will know when it’s done when the shrimp are opaque throughout and the top begins to brown.
For the shrimp, we toss them in a little bit of olive oil and season with salt then add to the cooked pasta raw. They will cook when baked in the oven. If we were to cook the shrimp beforehand, we risk them overcooking and drying out.
- 8 ounces ziti pasta (about 1/2 a box)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 8 ounces large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeeze dry
- 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
- salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil then cook pasta according to package directions.
- In the meantime, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes over medium heat until garlic begins to brown. Add tomatoes, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon of salt then cook until warmed through, taste for seasoning, add additional salt if necessary then set aside.
- In a small bowl, toss shrimp in 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, set aside.
- Drain cooked pasta and add to a large bowl with tomato sauce, shrimp, spinach and half of the feta cheese crumbles. Toss and add to a 10 1/2-inch x 7-inch baking dish and top with remaining feta cheese, bread crumbs and a drizzle of olive oil (about 2 teaspoons). Bake about 10 minutes until lightly browned on top and shrimp are opaque throughout.