Traditional recipes

Spinach and ricotta tortellini recipe

Spinach and ricotta tortellini recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Pasta types
  • Tortellini

Ricotta and spinach make the most classic vegetarian pairing in Italian cooking. In the traditional "tortellini di magro", it's used also as filling for tortellini, the famous ring-shaped stuffed egg pasta from Bologna.


Washington, United States

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 300g fresh spinach
  • 300g fresh ricotta cheese
  • 100g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 900g spinach pasta dough

MethodPrep:1hr ›Cook:10min ›Extra time:30min resting › Ready in:1hr40min

    Prepare the filling:

  1. Rinse the spinach and cut off the tough stems. Place the leaves in a lidded pan with 2 tablespoons of water and 1 pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until completely wilted. Drain and squeeze off all the water. Let cool in the colander.
  2. In the meantime, in a large bowl soften the ricotta cheese with a fork until creamy.
  3. Once cold, chop the spinach finely with a sharp knife or process in a blender. Squeeze away any remaining water and transfer to the ricotta bowl. Add Parmesan cheese, egg, salt, pepper and nutmeg; mix well. It should not be runny, if this is the case, add more grated cheese.
  4. Prepare the tortellini:

  5. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Take one piece and cover the rest in cling film. Flatten the piece between your palms, then pass through the widest setting of you pasta machine. Sprinkle with flour, fold in half lengthways and pass it through the roll again. Repeat 3 to 4 times - always flouring, folding and passing through the widest setting - until the dough is smooth in texture (not sticky any more) and even in size.
  6. Move the pasta machine to a middle setting and pass the dough; then, move to the next to the last setting and pass again the dough. Cut the obtained sheet in half, widthways.
  7. Pass each half through the thinnest and last setting of the pasta machine: you'll obtain two long and very thin sheets. Gently transfer to a floured surface, trim away the edges and cut out 2 even rectangles.
  8. With a ravioli wheel cutter, cut out 4cm squares.
  9. Drop a teaspoon of ricotta and spinach filling in the middle of each square.
  10. Brush the edges with some water and fold over diagonally into a triangle shape.
  11. Press well to squeeze out all the air and form the characteristic tortellini "bump".
  12. Stretch the 2 sides of the triangle and fold them together, wrapping them around your finger. Seal.
  13. Gently fold back the top corner.
  14. Transfer the tortellino on a floured plate or board. Proceed the same way with the remaining dough and filling.
  15. Let the tortellini stand for about 30 minutes before cooking in plenty of salted water, about 6 to 7 minutes. Serve with your favourite sauce.

Serving suggestion

These tortellini are mild in flavour and great paired with any kind of sauce. Try a simple butter and sage sauce or a regular tomato sauce.

About tortellini

Tortellini are a very traditional Italian fresh pasta, shaped like small rings. From Bologna, they are traditionally filled with meat and served in a clear beef stock for Christmas or any special occasion. This version, with green spinach pasta dough and a vegetarian filling is a delicious alternative to the classic recipe.

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Spinach and ricotta tortellini

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For the pasta (makes more dough than needed for this recipe)

For the hazelnut pesto

  • 25g/1oz whole blanched hazelnuts
  • 15g/½oz Parmesan (or a similar vegetarian hard cheese), grated
  • 1 tbsp hazelnut oil
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil

For the filling

  • 150g/5½oz ricotta
  • 50g/1¾oz Parmesan (or a similar vegetarian hard cheese), grated
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • pinch grated nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • knob of butter, to serve

Spinach and ricotta tortellini

Marco Donnini’s nonna is a native of Modena and has always made tortellini. In his family, eating tortellini is a very well respected tradition at every Easter and Christmas feast. He says this recipe for tortellini is a popular favourite, having been on the menu of his restaurant for more than 30 years.

Preparation

Cooking

Skill level

Ingredients

  • bunch of fresh spinach, plus extra for filling
  • 100 g of flour
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g of ricotta (per person)
  • 20 g parmesan
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Boil down and blend the spinach. Mix the spinach, flour and egg with your hands, until it forms a pasta dough (that shouldn't be too wet or too dry). Once you get to a silky and smooth consistency place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

While the pasta is resting make the filling. Mix the ricotta and parmesan together and season with salt and pepper. Add a handful of spinach per person, boiled down and chopped up finely. Stir to combine, then add a little fresh nutmeg to the mixture and incorporate the mascarpone. The mix should come together as a cream and it should be possible to place the mix into a piping bag.

Process the pasta dough through a pasta machine, leaving it a little bit thick. Pipe some of the ricotta mix in the middle of the dough and fold it over in half. Press out any air pockets and then cut the dough into squares. Then fold the squares into a triangle and wrap the ends together to join. They should sit up nicely like little hats.

Serve them with a very simple dressing like butter and sage, or some extra virgin olive oil.


Spinach, Ricotta and Mascarpone Tortelloni

1. Make the dough: To a large bowl, add 2/3 cup of the flour. Crack each egg in the bowl, one at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon until a dough consistency forms. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead with both hands, adding the remaining 1/3 cup of flour as necessary if the dough is too sticky. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

2. Make the filling: In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta, mascarpone, Parmigiano-Reggiano and black pepper. Refrigerate until the dough is ready.

3. Unwrap the dough and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Dust a rolling pin with flour and use it to roll the dough into a 16-by-10-inch circle, turning it over four times while rolling.

4. One at a time, add a generous teaspoon of filling to the dough in rows, leaving a ½-inch between each spoonful. Use a pastry wheel or pasta cutter to cut between each mound. Fold the dough in half to form a triangle over the filling. Using your index finger and thumb, fold the edges of the dough toward each other and pinch them together.

5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the tortelloni and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the tortelloni in a colander. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve immediately.


Step by step instruction on how to make baked tortellini:

  • Sauté zucchini and spinach in a large s auté pan and until soft.
  • Cook tortellini in a large pot of boiling water and then drain.
  • Add tomato sauce to a large bowl and add the parmesan cheese and ricotta.
  • Stir parmesan cheese and ricotta into the tomato sauce to combine.

  • Add cooked veggies and cooked tortellini to the tomato sauce.
  • Stir to combine all.
  • Add tortellini and veggie mixture to a casserole pan.
  • Top with mozzarella cheese and parmesan and bake until cheese is melted and golden brown.

Tips for making baked tortellini:

  • What kind of tortellini can I use? You can use any type of tortellini. I used cheese tortellini but spinach or mushroom tortellini would be good options.
  • What kind of cheese can I use? Mozzarella is the way to go with this dish. You can try swapping out the mozzarella with smoked mozzarella for a richer, smokier flavor.
  • What kind of vegetables can I add? I added zucchini and spinach, but you can add any veggies that you like – asparagus, green pepper, cauliflower – just make sure to cook them until they are soft and tender before adding them to the bowl.
  • Is fresh tortellini or dried tortellini best for this recipe? You can use either one. I used fresh tortellini from Trader Joes. You just need to cook the tortellini as per the package instructions before adding it to the recipe.
  • Can I assemble this recipe ahead of time? Yes! You can assemble this recipe a day or so before and store in the fridge tightly wrapped in tin foil until ready to bake. When ready to bake, remember to remove the tin foil.
  • What kind of pan should I use? I used a 10 x 8 inch baking dish that was 2 inches deep.
  • Does this recipe freeze well? Yes! I wrap individual portions in tin foil and freeze.
  • The cheesy topping isn’t a golden brown color – what can I do? If the top doesn’t look golden brown once the casserole is cooked then you can put it under the broiler for 60 seconds or so – just watch it closely to make sure it doesn’t burn.

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Ricotta and Spinach Tortellini

For the dough: combine flour and eggs, knead unitl smooth dough forms, cover and let rest for 20 minutes. For the filling: heat butter in a pan and saute spinach. Cool and strain ricotta through a sieve into a pan. Combine with egg yolks, Parmesan and parsley. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Divide dough into 2 parts and roll out on a lightly floured surface.

Cut out squares or circles abour 4-5 cm (approximately 2 inch) wide. Place filling into the center of each square or circle, fold dough into triangles or crescents. Press together firmly at the edges. Wrap each pastry around a finger and press the ends firmly to make rings.

Bring a large shallow pan with 3 liters (approximately 12 1/2 cups) of salted water to a boil and cook tortellini for a few minutes or until al dente. Remove from water with a slotted spoon, drain and place on a preheated plate. Melt butter in a small pan and brown sage leaves for a few seconds. Drizzle sage butter over tortellini and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve.


Spinach and Ricotta Tortellini with Mushroom Sauce

For the tortellini dough: Combine the flour with a pinch of salt, make a well in the center and fill with the lightly beaten eggs, oil and 2-3 tablespoons cold water. Mix until smooth then knead into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for about 30 minutes.

For the filling: Thaw the spinach, squeeze out excess moisture and chop finely. Push the ricotta through a sieve and mix with the spinach, Parmesan and egg yolk. Season with salt and pepper.

On a floured work surface (or with a pasta machine), roll out the dough thinly. Cut out 6 cm (2 1/3 inch) circles, place 1 teaspoon filling in the center the circles, brush the edges with water, fold over into half-moons and squeeze the edges firmly to seal. Pinch the corners together to shape into tortellini and let rest on a floured work surface.

For the mushroom sauce: Rinse the scallions, trim and cut diagonally into rings. Peel the garlic and finely dice. Sweat the scallions and garlic in butter until softened. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for 5-7 minutes. Deglaze with the wine and cream, bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the lemon zest.

Cook the tortellini in gently boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes, until they float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Transfer to serving plates, drizzle with the sauce and serve sprinkled with freshly shaved Parmesan.


Spinach Ricotta Tortellini Primavera

This incredibly delicious spinach ricotta tortellini primavera is loaded with spinach and cheese stuffed pasta, fresh vegetables, a creamy parmesan cheese sauce and makes mealtime a breeze. A quick and easy meal which is perfect for those busy weeknights and can be on the table in about 30 minutes or less.

With all the fresh vegetables available, this tortellini primavera can be made with all sorts of different varieties of healthy veggies and is a delicious vegetarian meal perfect for spring and summer. Light, refreshing, super easy and a perfect meatless meal.

Even though this spinach ricotta tortellini primavera is quick to make, it is also a great meal for entertaining that is both elegant and delicious. Guests will love the freshness of the vegetables and the creamy parmesan cheese sauce that adds delicious flavor to this pasta dish.

Even the leftovers are amazingly yummy. When I make this meal, it&rsquos always more than we need for just the two of us but having leftovers is always great because this is such a delicious meal that tastes great reheated. Cut the ingredients in half if you do not need this amount. One of the benefits of living in the same townhouse complex as my daughter and son-in-law is that I can call them up and share all of these delicious recipes with them, and they are loving having us close as well. I love to share food with others and this is a great recipe to share.

Making the tortellini Primavera with fresh vegetables

Start off by peeling and dicing the carrots and dice the celery into small pieces, slice the zucchini and squash and cut the broccoli florets into smaller pieces. Place all the veggies into a bowl along with the frozen peas and set aside. Using a large sauce pan or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the vegetables and continue cooking for approximately 4-5 minutes. Pour vegetable broth into saucepan and heat up for a minute or two and then add the heavy cream and parmesan cheese. Season to taste. In a medium sauce pan, boil tortellini a minute less than the package directions. Drain and rinse the tortellini and then add to the vegetable mixture. Gently stir and enjoy! That&rsquos it. Super easy, super quick and super delicious.

Helpful tip

Preparing the vegetables ahead of time will cut down on the time it takes to make this meal making it even quicker than approximately 30 minutes.

Try this spinach ricotta tortellini Primavera today

Here are a few other delicious pasta recipes you can find on the blog: Classic Lasagna, Cheesy Ground Beef Pasta, Italian Sausage Penne Casserole, Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo, plus many more&hellip. and my kid&rsquos favorite pasta dish ever, Farfalle with Sausage.


Squeeze excess liquid from spinach. Place spinach in a large bowl with ricotta, onions and parmesan. Mix well.

Place tortellini in an oiled, large ovenproof dish (10-cup capacity). Drop spoonfuls of ricotta mixture over top.

Dissolve stock cube in ½ cup boiling water in a large, heatproof jug. Add cream, mustard, garlic and 1 ½ cups cold water. Whisk well. Pour over tortellini mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella.

Cook, uncovered, in a moderate oven (180C) for about 35 minutes, or until pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove. Stand for 5 minutes before serving.


How do I make lemon butter chicken?

Once again this is the simplest recipe I could come up with. Adding chicken to this ricotta pasta is not at all necessary but highly recommended.

You can serve ricotta pasta vegetarian style or you can add this flavour chicken breast cooked in garlicky lemon butter sauce.

  1. Sear seasoned with salt and pepper chicken breasts on both sides until golden.
  2. Add a tablespoon of butter, juice of 1 lemon and a few lemon slices, cover the pan with a lid and cook on low for approximately 10 minutes, baste with juices a couple of times during the cooking time.

This lemon butter chicken is absolutely delicious on top of spinach ricotta pasta or on its own. You can use this chicken recipe with so many different sides or as a tasty add-on to your salads.

Tips for pan frying a chicken breast

  • Sear seasoned chicken breasts on high to get a beautiful golden colour.
  • Turn the heat down, add garlic, butter and lemon juice and continue cooking on low for a juicy interior for approximately 10 minutes. Turn the chicken breasts over once and baste them with the juices a couple of times for maximum flavour.
  • Remove the chicken breasts to a plate and keep warm until needed.

To finish up this spinach ricotta pasta, top with sliced lemon butter chicken breasts and sprinkle with a generous amount of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.