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.