Ricotta and Spinach Filling for Fresh Pasta

Ricotta and spinach recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Yields: 2 1/2 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
24 Calories
2g Fat
1g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 24
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 53mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 2g
Calcium 40mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Ravioli and tortellini hold a special place in our hearts. Being one of the ultimate comfort foods, pasta, in its many forms, is a go-to for many households. Topped or filled, it can be served so many ways for lunch or dinner that you never have to get bored with it.

Few flavor combinations for pasta are as delightful as spinach and ricotta cheese. Use this filling for fresh ravioli, tortellini, and other filled types of fresh pasta for a delicious meal that's both simple and sensational.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 10 ounces spinach (cleaned and trimmed)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for ricotta and spinach pasta filling
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Set a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or a couple of paper towels over a bowl. Add the ricotta and allow it to strain out excess liquid for 5 to 10 minutes as you continue with the prep.

    Set ricotta in strainer
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Boil a large saucepan of salted water. Plunge the spinach in to blanch it, then remove it 30 seconds later.

    Blanching spinach in a pot
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Remove the spinach from boiling water after 30 seconds. Drain and cool under cold running water to stop the cooking.

    Draining spinach in a colander
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  5. Finely chop the drained spinach.

    Chopped spinach on a cutting board
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped spinach with the ricotta cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Ricotta and spinach mixture in a bowl
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

How to Use

  • Use to fill the pasta immediately, or refrigerate for up to one day before using.
  • When filling ravioli or tortellini, add a small mound to the center of the pasta. Depending on the size of your dough, this can be 1/2 a teaspoon or up to 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling. Don't over-fill, since the pasta won't stay sealed while it is being boiled.
  • Seal the edges with a little water and press out any air. Boil the ravioli or tortellini for just a few minutes, or until they float.
  • This recipe makes enough filling for about 50 small ravioli.
  • If you have extra ricotta and spinach filling or don't get around to making homemade ravioli, use the filling to make calzones, as a lasagna layer, or combine with a little pasta water to make a creamy pasta sauce.

Recipe Variations

  • Use Swiss chard or kale in place of spinach.
  • Add some garlic. After blanching and chopping the spinach, heat 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil in a large skillet with 1 teaspoon minced garlic. When the garlic softens, stir in the spinach.
  • Stir in 2 tablespoons minced prosciutto or cooked pancetta. Adjust the seasonings if necessary.

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