La Pasta con Spinaci e Ricotta
Spinach and Ricotta Pasta
The type of pasta I use for this recipe:  i chifferi rigati

Worksheet

Ingredients

500g Pasta

200g Spinach

250g Ricotta

50ml White Wine

1/2 Medium Onion

1/2 Glass of Milk

Black Pepper
Coarse Salt
Fine Table Salt

Ingredienti

500g Pasta

200g Spinaci

250g Ricotta

50ml Vino Bianco

1/2 Cipolla Media

1/2 Bicchiere di Latte

Pepe Nero
Sale Grosso
Sale Fino

Passo 1 - Step 1

È ora di cucinare!
It's time to cook!

  • Fill una pentola (a large saucepan) with water and place it on a high heat ready to cook the pasta.

  • Roughly chop la cipolla (the onion) and add it to una padella (a frying pan) with a touch of olive oil.  Cook on medium-high heat

  • When the onion is sizzling, throw in gli spinaci  (the spinach).  Sprinkle il sale fino (the table salt) and il pepe nero (black pepper) to your liking.

  • Add a splash of vino bianco (white wine) and cook until the spinach begins to wilt.

una pentola e una padella

gli spinaci in padella 

Passo 2 - Step 2

Butta la pasta!
Throw in the pasta!

  • By now, l'acqua (the water) in the saucepan should be boiling.  Add a handful of sale grosso (coarse salt) then throw in the pasta - butta la pasta.  In Italy, it is always il sale grosso - coarse salt - that is added to the water for cooking pasta.

  • Now the spinach is wilted turn the heat to medium and add la ricotta.  Break it up well with a wooden spoon and allow it to melt.

  • When la ricotta is liquid carefully pour the contents of the pan into a large bowl and blitz it on high speed with a stick blender.  When the spinach and ricotta mixture is fully creamed pour it back into the pan and add il latte (the milk).

  • Taste to check if any more salt or pepper is needed and cook on medium heat for a few minutes.

la ricotta e gli spinaci in padella

una crema di ricotta e spinaci

Passo 3 - Step 3

  • Remove the spinach cream from the heat.

  • Continue to cook the pasta stirring regularly until it's al dente - meaning 'to the tooth.'  Italians prefer cooked pasta to be quite firm when you bite it and not soft

  • Drain the pasta and then pour it into la padella (the pan) with the creamed spinach mixture.  Put the pan back on to medium heat and stir the sauce in well.

  • When the pasta is fully coated, switch off the heat and serve.

     

The cooked pasta is tossed in the pan - in padella - in order to mix it with the creamy spinach and ricotta sauce.

È una ricetta molto veloce da preparare!
It is a very quick recipe to prepare!

La pasta è pronta!   The pasta is ready!

I Consigli di Melissa
Melissa's Advice

  • This is a convenient and healthy dish when you are in a hurry. It should only take you about 20 minutes to prepare!

  • It's also an excellent way to eat spinach - which is very good for you.  Fa bene alla salute! The cartoon character Popeye - called Braccio di Ferro in Italian - ate lots of it!  His Italian name means 'Iron Arm.'

  • Gli spinaci sono ricchi di vitamine e ferro.  Spinach is rich in vitamins and iron.

  • The results are best with fresh spinach but if you don't have any, you can always use the frozen type. You'll have to boil it a little first though, before adding it to the onions.

  • It's a vegetarian dish!  È un piatto vegetariano!

Interesting Facts About Ricotta

La ricotta is a dairy product.  Its name literally means 'recooked'.  It is the creamy white result of heating whey that is left over from producing cheese.  The whey is heated to near-boiling point and  produces a curd which is la ricotta.  The whey can come from the milk of sheep, goat, cow or buffalo.

La ricotta is used in many Italian recipes.  It can be eaten simply fresh with il pane (bread) or in pasta dishes.  It is often combined with spinach - gli spinaci - for example, in the filling of ravioli and cannelloni.   

In Sardinia, there are sweet pastries called le formaggelle that are filled with a ricotta mixture.

This famous painting is called:
I Mangiatori di Ricotta (The Ricotta Eaters) by Italian artist Vincenzo Campi (1536 - 1591).
It can be seen at le Musée des Beaux-Arts, in Lyon, France

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