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Pasta with Spinach and Ricotta Cheese

Oh my goodness, Oh my goodness.  This was so amazingly good.  Now I promised you some recipes with which you could use that beautiful RICOTTA CHEESE you just made and well, here's another.  This is some amazing good stuff.  I've had this recipe in the "make this!" file for a couple of years now and why I didn't make it sooner, well, one of life's mysteries.  The point is, it's sooooo good and now you must make it too.  This is what you'll need (not much)....

Very few ingredients, really.  Ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, chives, pasta, butter, salt, pepper and frozen (thawed and squeezed-dried spinach). The original recipe from the San Francisco Chronicle didn't include spinach, but for some reason, it just felt right to me, and oh, it really made this perfect.  Leave it out if you'd like to experience the original, that would, I'm sure, be good too.

Ok, so very few ingredients and BIG bonus! it's easy too!  Get the pasta boiling. Oh, if you can get your hands on campanelle pasta, please do so.  It's just hard to beat the way it holds the sauce and creates an amazing texture in this pasta.  I used fettuccine in the above photo and it was fabulous!  So it's definitely a good substitute if you can't find campanelle pasta.  Where was I?  Oh, while your pasta is boiling, get out an oven-proof bowl and in it put your ricotta cheese, spinach, chives, butter, salt and pepper.  Place this in a warm oven until your pasta is done.

Just before your pasta is done, remove a cup or so of the pasta cooking water (which has been previously generously salted).  Add this to the warmed cheese mixture to create a creamy sauce.  Drain the pasta and add it to the bowl and mix well.  Place this in a nice, clean serving bowl and top with more parmesan cheese.  Then count yourself one of the lucky people in the world and share it with someone you love (I did).  Resist if you can....

Pasta with Spinach and Ricotta Cheese
Printable Recipe 

Adapted from a recipe by Janet Fletcher, San Francisco Chronicle


  • 1 pound ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
  • 1 10-oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound campanelle pasta or fettuccine
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

2. Combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, butter and chives in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Place in a low oven.

3. Just before the pasta is al dente, remove about 3/4 cup of the pasta water. Whisk enough of the hot water into the cheese mixture to give it the consistency of a creamy sauce.

4. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Toss well. Add the grated cheese and toss again, adding more water if needed to thin the sauce.

Serve in warm bowls.
Serves 4 to 6 (or not)

Reader Comments (33)

Is there a way that you could send all leftovers to my house? This looks AMAZING! I'm going to try it next week.

October 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Ha! Who said there were leftovers? I hate to admit this, but we ate it all! You will see...there are no leftovers with this pasta.

October 22, 2009 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

yummy love this pasta dish :)

February 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCherine

This sounds and looks delicious and right up my alley with the ease and simplicity! I look forward to making it soon.

February 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSathya

Looks amazing!
I'm trying it tonight

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

I'd love to hear back from you, Megan. Hope you enjoy it!

February 10, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Thank you for posting this on foodgawker and sharing this recipe. I had seen a similar one years ago in a magazine, but never got the chance to try it. I appreciate that you put in the spinach, as I am always trying to incorporate items like spinach into our diets more. I have enjoyed looking around your site and really enjoy your recipes. Keep up the great work and thank you again!

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Thank you for those kind words, Michelle. Hope you come back often! Enjoy the pasta...it's definitely a good one!

February 11, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

looks fabulous.
sounds like i know what im having for lunch tomorrow :]

February 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpkim

This was so good. Surprisingly good. I love when simple recipes turn out to be super tasty.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarmelita

Wonderful dish!

As there were only two of us to eat this, I did have some leftovers. *Gasp* I roughly chopped the noodles, mixed in 3 eggs and another handful of parmesan, and pressed the mixture into a greased pie plate. I baked it at 400*f until the edges were browned and bubbly. It was a huge hit, even with my hubby, who isn't fond of leftovers. :)

Thank you for sharing this recipe!

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I love your leftover idea, Sarah! Will definitely remember that for next time (when I hope we'll have leftovers). Thanks for that!

February 23, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I made this tonight with fusilli pasta and it is AMAZING. Props too you. Inexpensive as well! :)

February 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBethany

This was a perfect recipe: easy, inexpensive and delicious! My hubs and I both loved it. Terrific dish, thanks for posting it!

March 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChopsy

Do you cook and drain the spinach first?

April 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanet

You don't need to cook the spinach first, but you do need to drain it. Thanks for mentioning that, Janet. I'll add it to the recipe.

April 3, 2011 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Thank you! This is tha bomb!
I added some garlic into the sauce before i put it in the oven,
maybe some ham or bacon would be good through this dish.

June 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAli

I added some halved cherry tomatoes mmmm it was perfect

January 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

I am always looking for more ways to incorporate spinach in my meals, and this looks awesome. Going to try this recipe this week.

January 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNutrisystem Discount Code

This looks amazing - my mom made homemade ravioli stuffed with spinach and cheese filling - and the secret "kick" to her filling was a bit of fresh grated nutmeg. might be a nice touch on this dish as well.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAddie

what temp. do you set the oven at

March 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrenae

You just need a low oven, about 180 degrees or so.

March 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I made this without the butter and it was still amazing. Delicious recipe, thank you!

March 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Just found this via Pinterest... I made it with fresh spinach instead of frozen, and added nutmeg and sauteed onions. Delicious! And I'll be sharing it with my blog readers sometime soon!

What can I say it looks very amazing and delicious nice work

June 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGourmet Secrets

This looks delicious, but I think I am going to try it with broccoli instead of spinach. ( not a big fan). Has anyone made it with broccoli?

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCindie

I haven't made this with broccoli, Cindie, but I bet it would be delicious! Let us know... it sounds really good.

July 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Ill feel less guilty about the cheesy pasta dish because there's spinach in it! ;) yumm

September 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkate

I made this for dinner tonight and got the thumbs up from the family. I did tweak it just s bit. I sauteed garlic with the butter and used fresh spinach and added some wine and Italian spices. Will definitely make this again. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAli

That sounds wonderful, Ali! So glad you liked this - Thanks for letting us know!

October 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Made this for a covered dish dinner. Added a can of petite diced tomatoes, drained. It was yummy! I think next time I'll try adding garlic, as someone mentioned above.

December 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Great receipt..we had leftovers and added sausage put it in pizza dough with sauce. boy thanks your original is perfecrt and goes along way...we got three meals and was very inexpensive and easy. Its a no mistake receipt. Its in my receipt box listed under "favorites"

April 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbarbara lutz

So glad you liked this, Barbara. It's one of our favorites too! Thanks for letting us know!

April 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

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