Fusilli Pasta with Spinach and Ricotta (Fusilli Spinaci e Ricotta)

Ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta is a very popular Italian dish. But on a weekday after work there is no time to make ravioli. And so I prepare this quick and easy pasta with spinach and ricotta. Fusilli is a great pasta shape for this, as the spinach is ‘absorbed’ by the pasta very well. The mix of spinach, ricotta, and parmigiano with a dash of nutmeg works as well as in the ravioli. Making this dish takes only as long as it takes to boil the pasta.


For 2 servings

450 grams (1 lb) fresh spinach

150 grams (.33 lb) fusilli pasta

150 grams (bit more than 1/2 cup) fresh ricotta

50 grams (1.8 oz) freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

dash of freshly grated nutmeg

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Boil the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water for the time indicated on the package for al dente.

In the meantime, wash the spinach, and put it in a large pot (raw spinach requires a lot of space) with the water that still clings to the leaves from washing. (In Dutch we even have a word that is rarely used in another context: “aanhangend” water.)

Cover the pot and put it over high heat.

Turn the spinach so it will cook evenly.

Cook the spinach until all of the leaves have wilted.

Then drain the spinach.

Put the spinach on an old (but clean) tea towel.

Use the tea towel to squeeze water out of the spinach.

Until it is quite dry.

Grate the parmigiano. Always use real parmigiano reggiano and always grate it freshly. The flavor is so much better than fake parmesan or already grated.

Combine the spinach with the ricotta and a dash of nutmeg in the pot that was used to cook the spinach. Put the pot over low heat.

Blend with an immersion blender. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

When the pasta is al dente, drain it and add it to the spinach mixture.

Add the cheese as well.

Stir over low heat until the fusilli has ‘absorbed’ the spinach.

Serve on preheated plates, garnished with some more parmigiano.


These fennel ravioli are filled with the braised tops/fronds from fennel, which is a great way to reduce the waste of food. And they are very tasty.


8 thoughts on “Fusilli Pasta with Spinach and Ricotta (Fusilli Spinaci e Ricotta)

  1. I love this idea. I guess you can use any ravioli filling as a sauce! So Now I’m thinking of an Italian sausage and pumpkin sauce… I bought leaf-shaped pasta for the fall, cause I’m one of those weirdos…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An ‘inside out’ recipe for me as I usually use this combination inside ravioli and other ‘covers’ ! Why not and it looks interesting ! Use a lot of fusilli if European pasta is in play but would steam my beloved baby spinach for but a minute or two to retain vitamin and mineral content . . . . Shall make . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your blog. I tried this last night. Didn’t have enough spinach in the fridge so I augmented it with flesh of oven roasted eggplant. Delighted with the result.

    We are going to e in Amsterdam later this year. Any favourite restaurants you would like to recommend? we tend to eat mainly seafood and vegetables rather than meat.. kind regards



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Vanessa, thanks for your nice message. Indeed this also works with eggplant. If you use only eggplant and no spinach, you could add fresh basil.
      As for Amsterdam restaurants, one of my favorites is Bussia. They serve modern Italian and you could definitely ask for seafood and vegetable only. Please give Nathalie my regards.
      Or a bit more straightforward is Lucius, a seafood restaurant. Please tell Will I said hi.
      My favorite high end restaurants in Amsterdam are Spectrum and 212. Fantastic and great value, especially compared to prices at restaurants of this level in the US.
      I would recommend to make reservations in advance for all of the above.
      Have a great trip!


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