Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fusilli with Spinach and Ricotta

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a wonderfully mild pasta that's light and easy on the palate. It's flavors are much like those found in spinach and cheese ravioli, but this deconstructed version is much less work. It's perfect for those evenings when you have a yen for pasta but your stomach can't quite handle a heavy spicy sauce. It really is quite easy to prepare, but it's not a pantry meal. The recipe requires fresh greens and, if possible, fresh ricotta. That means advanced planning is needed to make this dish properly. Lidia Bastianich developed the recipe on which mine is based. I've made some changes because I thought the original dish had too little sauce for the amount of pasta that was cooked. I also use more salt in the pasta water to assure it has some flavor. I generally add 1 teaspoon of salt for every quart of water in my pasta pot. I use a 6 quart pot, so I always add 2 tablespoon of salt to the pasta water. I add the salt after the water comes to a boil and I let the water return to a boil before I add the pasta. Shirley Corriher has written an article about the art and science of cooking pasta that you might find interesting. It can be found here. This is a lovely pasta to have in your rotation. You won't make it as often as some others, but it will not disappoint you. Here's the recipe.

Fusilli with Spinach and Ricotta...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite adapted from a recipe by Lidia Bastianich


Kosher salt
1 pound baby spinach, washed and patted dry
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 small scallions, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
Pinch nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
12 ounces dried fusilli
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1) Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt to boiling water.
2) Stacking leaves, cut spinach crosswise into 1/4-inch strips. You should have 8 packed cups of shredded spinach.
3) Heat olive oil in a large pan or skillet set over medium-high heat. Add scallions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir spinach and a pinch of salt and pepper into pan. Cover and steam spinach, stirring occasionally to cook evenly, until it's wilted but still bright green, about 5 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix ricotta, half-and-half, and nutmeg, if using, until smooth. Stir ricotta mixture and butter into spinach and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
5) Meanwhile, stir fusilli into boiling water and cover pot. When water returns to a boil, remove cover. Cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 12 minutes.
6) Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking liquid. Drain pasta well and return it to its pot over low heat. Add spinach mixture and enough reserved cooking liquid to make a sauce that will lightly coat pasta. Toss thoroughly. Remove pot from heat and stir in grated cheese. Transfer pasta to a warm serving platter or individual bowls and serve. Yield: 6 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Pasta with Spinach and Asiago Cream Sauce - Good Things Catered
Heart Healthy Pasta with Spinach Sauce - What's for Dinner Across State Lines
Garden Pasta with Ricotta - Radishes and Rhubarb
Penne with Ricotta and Basil Sauce - My Fabulous Recipes
Malfalda Pasta with Ricotta Cheese - Anna's Table
Roasted Zucchini Pasta with Ricotta Cheese - Foodie/Nutritionist


Ginny said...

I've just printed this and can't wait to try it!! It will give me a chance to try out Sorrento's new low fat ricotta.

Alessandra said...

One of my favourite combo, spinach and ricotta! And with pasta my kids could eat it everyday! I was toldthat there is not so much choice of ricotta (i.e. not many types) in the US,is that true?

How is your trip going?


Karin said...

Yummy....I'm printing this one up for some time this week...

Letizia Golosa said...

When I was a child, my mom would always make me pasta con ricotta, it's so simple and so so good!
I'm sure the added spinach makes it even better!

penny aka jeroxie said...

I have to try and make this with fresh ricotta. It is a lovely rotation pasta.

Priya said...

Yummylicious fusilli, i wont say no to these droolworthy dish..

Cherine said...

Spinach and ricotta, a perfect combo!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

This is one of our favourite dishes. Love it. Diane

matt gordon said...

i love the spinach cheese and pasta combo. nutmeg and spinach is one of my favorites. did you think it could have used more nutmeg?, or was the pinch just enough to give that fall flavor?

Robyn said...

Crikey, I could demolish a massive bowlful of that right now... Just the kind of pasta I ADORE! Thanks!
Robyn x

pigpigscorner said...

Yes, ravioli is so much work! This sounds perfect!

Louanne said...

Love this! Perfect meal to share with my mom & sister for our cookie-baking marathon.

Dishesdone said...

This is definitely now on my "to try" list. To try immediately, it looks fantastic!

Kim said...

Super easy recipe with lots of flaveur! I'm definitly gonna try this because it's a keeper!

Lea Ann said...

Love this recipe. I have a yen for pasta nearly every night and most certainly am going to add this recipe to the database.

Jenn said...

I would eat a big plate of that right now!! I love the simplicity and lightness of this dish. Can't wait to try it out!

PeggyR said...

Yum I love anything with spinach!

Jess @ Bakericious said...

looks good!

aipi said...

What an awesome combo..beautiful dish!

US Masala

Susi said...

I'm bookmarking this delicious pasta dish! Serving it with a nice side salad, crusty bread and a glass of wine and I'd be one happy camper :o)

♥ Kathy said...

That sounds so good..pasta, yum, cheese, yum, spinach,'s a winner!

We Are Not Martha said...

I love how simple, but absolutely delicious pasta dishes like these are!! And it's pretty, too :)


Bridgett said...

Perfect simplicity. Love recipes like this.

Zupan's Markets said...

Looks easy and yummy! We're all about that. MMM.

Claudia said...

I do love this - wondering if I could do away with the cream. The spinach and ricotta might be enough for me... just thinking... tasting.

Mags @ the Other Side of 50 said...

lovely pasta dish. very pretty.

Chef Fresco said...

Very lovely photo! I'm sure the pasta is delicious!

Tasha said...

Mmm. I really never tire of pasta and I always have plenty of spinach on hand, but I don't have many recipes I make that use ricotta, and therefore don't often buy it because I am stuck then with half a tub and nothing to do with it- this seems like a perfect recipe to keep for those times.

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