Use this ricotta cheese and spinach filling for fresh ravioli, tortellini, and other filled types of fresh pasta.
If you like the smoky flavor of bacon, try the spinach and prosciutto or pancetta filling variation. Is spinach not your thing? Swiss chard or kale can be used in place of the spinach.
- 10 ounces spinach (cleaned and trimmed)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup ricotta cheese (preferably fresh, drained for a few minutes in a fine strainer)
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
- Salt (to taste)
- Black pepper (freshly ground, to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
- Plunge the spinach into a large saucepan of boiling salted water to blanch it. Remove it 30 seconds later. Drain, cool, and chop finely.
- In a medium bowl, combine the spinach with the egg, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, pepper, and nutmeg. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Use to fill the pasta immediately, or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.
Spinach and Prosciutto or Pancetta Filling Variation
This also is well-made with Swiss chard or kale in place of spinach.
Omit the ricotta cheese.
- After blanching and chopping the spinach, heat 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil in a large skillet with 1 teaspoon minced garlic.
- When the garlic softens, stir in the spinach. Season with salt and pepper, then cool and stir in 1 large egg, 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons minced prosciutto or pancetta that has been cooked along with the garlic. Adjust the seasonings if necessary. Let cool and use to fill pasta or refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Source: "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman (Macmillan)
More Fresh Pasta Fillings
- Swiss Chard-Ricotta Tortellini Recipe: This easy recipe is made with just five ingredients plus salt. Just remember when filling fresh pasta not to put too much in for fear that it will explode in the boiling water and you will lose all that delicious filling.
- Cappelletti Chicken Filling Recipe: These "little hats" are filled with a paste of ground chicken, ricotta and Parmesan cheeses and lemon zest.
- Squash and Pear Ravioli Recipe: This unusual filling combines the earthy and sweet flavors of butternut squash and pears that are stuffed inside fresh ravioli pasta. A butter-and-herb sauce dresses the ravioli that is finished with a sprinkle of pecans and grated cheese.
- Pumpkin Filling Recipe: In this Polish version of ravioli known as pierogi, a pumpkin mixture fills a tender dough. They can be savory when served with white-wine or sage-cream sauce and toasted pecan garnish, or sweet when dusted with confectioners' sugar.