Ricotta and Spinach Filling for Fresh Pasta

Spinach and ricotta filling in a striped bowl

Maurizio Cigognetti / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups filling (50 portions)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
24 Calories
2g Fat
1g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 1/2 cups filling (50 portions)
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. Yet few flavor combinations for pasta are as delightful as spinach and ricotta. Use this ricotta cheese and spinach filling for fresh ravioli, tortellini, and other filled types of fresh pasta for a delicious meal that's both simple and sensational.


  • 10 ounces spinach (cleaned and trimmed)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (preferably fresh, drained for a few minutes in a fine strainer)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
  • Black pepper (freshly ground, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Plunge the spinach into a large saucepan of boiling salted water to blanch it. Remove it 30 seconds later. Drain, cool, and chop finely.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine the spinach with the egg, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, pepper, and nutmeg. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

  4. Use to fill the pasta immediately, or refrigerate for up to one day before using.

  5. Enjoy.


  • Chicken can also be used as a filling in cappelletti. These "little hats" are filled with a paste of ground chicken, ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, and lemon zest.
  • The unusual filling of squash and hazelnuts in ravioli combines the earthy and sweet flavors of butternut squash and hazelnuts that are stuffed inside fresh ravioli pasta. A butter-and-herb sauce dresses the ravioli that is finished with a sprinkle of pecans and grated cheese.


  • Use well-made with Swiss chard or kale in place of spinach. Omit the ricotta cheese.
  • 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. Season with salt and pepper, then cool and stir in 1 large egg, 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg.
  • Stir in 2 tablespoons minced prosciutto or pancetta that has been cooked along with the garlic. Adjust the seasonings if necessary. Let cool and use to fill pasta or refrigerate for up to one day.

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