Today’s recipe looks much more complex than it really is. All we have here is some pasta in a sauce with a ricotta cheese mixture on top. I enjoy these types of pasta dishes because they’re simple, straightforward and delicious.
This recipe comes in three parts. First is the pasta and the spinach. Those are easy. All you need to do is cook the pasta as you normally would and just as it finishes boiling, add in the chopped spinach. That becomes wilted due to the heat of the water. Strain both and you’re done with that.
Next, you’ll need to prepare the spiced ricotta sauce that gets mixed with the pasta and finally, prepare the ricotta mixture that gets added to the top of the final dish. So, if you can boil and stir things, this tasty dish is for you.
1 Pound Spiral (Fusilli) Pasta
Ground Black Pepper
1 Pound Spinach, Chopped Coarse
3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
4 Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 1/2 Cups Whole-Milk Ricotta Cheese
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
3 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
I’d like to thank America’s Test Kitchen for this recipe. I pulled it from their wonderful resource called The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook and I think it’s just perfect.
Cook the Pasta
Fill a large pot with four quarts of water and one tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, add in the pasta and cook for ten minutes. Be sure to stir a few times while it’s cooking.
After the ten minutes has passed, add the chopped spinach to the water and stir it in well. Allow it to stay there for 30 seconds. After this time, turn off the heat, collect one cup of pasta water for later use and dump the contents of the pot into a colander. After the pasta has completely drained, transfer the contents of the colander to a large bowl.
Prepare the Sauce
Warm a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Then, add two tablespoons of olive oil to the pan as well as the nutmeg, garlic and cayenne. Swirl these ingredients and let simmer for one minute. Next, turn off the heat and add in 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese, the cream, lemon juice and 3/4 teaspoons of salt. Mix together well until everything is smooth.
Prepare the Topping
In a medium sized bowl, add the remaining one cup of ricotta cheese, one tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Mix well until combined.
Combine Ingredients & Serve
Pour the contents of the saucepan into the bowl that holds the pasta. Also add in the Parmesan cheese and mix everything together well. Allow the pasta to rest for about five minutes. During this time, the sauce will thicken. Depending on how you like your pasta, add in a bit of the reserved liquid to lighten things up. Add until you’re happy with the consistency.
Divide the pasta between bowls, add a dollop of ricotta topping to each and serve. If you would like to add more Parmesan cheese to each serving, go for it. Serve and enjoy!
The Final Pasta & Spinach Dish
Again, this was a fairly simple dish to prepare. I think it was very good, but next time, I’ll be doubling up on the ingredients. I’d like it to last longer than it did. If you decide to give this recipe a try, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!
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