Home » Italian Pasta Recipes » Spinach Ricotta Ravioli

Spinach Ricotta Ravioli

My Spinach Ricotta Ravioli is a classic Italian dish that your whole family will love!

These delicate Italian ravioli are filled with rich, creamy ricotta, spinach, savory Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and a touch of nutmeg. To finish, my homemade ravioli are tossed in a simple butter sauce and extra cheese to serve. It’s heaven on a plate!

Spinach Ricotta ravioli on a off white plate with a sprinkle of finely grated cheese.
Homemade is unbeatable!

If you’ve always wanted to make homemade ravioli but thought it was too difficult, this is the recipe for you! I’ve included a comprehensive step by step process and lots of helpful hints to make the perfect Spinach Ricotta Ravioli. While this is a more complicated recipe, it’s not out of the reach of most home cooks. 

This recipe is based on my family’s recipe for tortelli d’erbetta which is a classic filled pasta from my dad’s region of Emilia Romagna. It produces luscious and delicate ricotta ravioli with spinach that is sure to impress your friends and family. The spinach ricotta cheese filling is so velvety and loaded with flavor from the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and freshly grated nutmeg. 

My Spinach Ricotta Ravioli recipe is the perfect dish to celebrate special occasions and important milestones with your loved ones. In fact, this was the dish that marked all the memorable events in my childhood. I know that once you’ve made these homemade ravioli and created the same family memories, you’ll never use the store bought version again. 

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Taste – these Spinach Ricotta Ravioli are filled with a flavorsome and creamy ricotta cheese mix. The slightly bitter spinach perfectly sets off the rich, creaminess of the ricotta.
  • Versatile – the sauce to serve these Spinach Ricotta Ravioli is made simply with butter and Parmesan cheese but if your family loves tomato sauce that will work too. So will a basic olive oil, garlic and chilli sauce.
  • Nutritious – spinach is rich in iron, vitamins and minerals and pairs perfectly with ricotta which is high in calcium and a great source of other nutrients.
  • No fancy equipment – this recipe doesn’t require any fancy ravioli makers, just your trusty pasta machine and basic kitchen equipment.
  • Step by step – This recipe will give you step by step instructions and all the tips needed to make these ricotta ravioli perfectly. 

What is Ravioli?

Ravioli are Italian filled pasta that is usually square or circular in shape. The ingredients for fillings can vary from cheese, meat, vegetables, or a combination of any of these. 

To make ravioli, pasta is rolled thinly and spoonfuls of the filling are placed in the middle. The pasta is folded over enclosing the filling and creating small stuffed pasta dumplings. Ravioli are usually boiled and then served with a sauce or in broth, all of which are very popular in Italy and around the world.

Depending on the region of Italy, filled pasta can go by many other names. Some of these names include tortellini (like my Tortellini alla Panna), Fagottini, cappelletti, agnolotti, mezzelune and culurgiones.

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Ingredients 

Ingredients for this recipe as listed in the recipe card.
  • Spinach – fresh spinach is my preference here. 
  • Ricotta cheese – Beautiful fresh ricotta cheese makes a beautiful creamy filling and can be purchased at most supermarkets. Depending on where you live in the world, ricotta cheese can be expensive to buy, so for a more economical option, you can use my recipe for homemade ricotta cheese
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese – also known as Parmesan Cheese. For best results, buy a block of cheese and grate it freshly as needed. This adds a lovely savory flavor to the ravioli filling and also for serving.  
  • Nutmeg – my preference is freshly grated nutmeg, but you could also use ground nutmeg.
  • 00 Flour – also known as doppio zero flour. It is finely ground flour and the best choice of flour for making homemade pasta dough. 
  • Eggs – I prefer large free range eggs for this Spinach Ricotta Ravioli recipe. 
  • Semolina flour – this type of flour is made from coarsely ground durum wheat and is perfect for dusting and keeping the ravioli from sticking.
  • Butter – unsalted butter for serving the Spinach Ricotta Ravioli. 

See recipe card for quantities.

Instructions for Spinach Ricotta Filling

Overhead view of spinach being cooked in a stainless steel pan.

Wash spinach then cook in a pan over medium until wilted. Cool and squeeze out excess moisture. Chop spinach finely.

Overhead view of spinach and ricotta filling in a clear glass bowl.

Combine chopped spinach with the remaining filling ingredients. Refrigerate until needed.

Hint: Don’t add any water to the pan to cook the spinach. The water clinging to the leaves after washing is enough.

Instructions for Pasta Dough

Reserve a couple of tablespoons of flour. Tip the remaining flour onto the work surface and make a well in the middle.

Overhead view of beaten eggs in the middle of a well of flour.

Break eggs into the well in the flour
Using a fork (or fingertips) whisk the eggs.

Scraggy dough with flour around viewed from above.

Gradually incorporate a little bit of flour into the eggs working into a scraggy dough. 

A hand kneading pasta dough viewed from above.

Knead the dough until it’s smooth.

A ball of pasta dough viewed from above.

Form into a ball then cover with a bowl or wrap in plastic and set aside to rest. 

Hint: For more step by step pasta dough instructions and photos, refer to my Tagliatelle Pasta recipe.

Instructions to make ravioli

Divide pasta dough into 4 equal parts. Take one portion and cover the remaining dough. Use either a hand cranked pasta machine or stand mixer pasta attachment and et the pasta machine rollers at the widest setting. Prepare large baking sheets lined with parchment paper that has been dusted with semolina flour.

Pasta dough being rolled through the rollers of a hand cranked pasta machine.

Pass the dough through the rollers. Fold and repeat until smooth. Reduce the roller width setting gradually, passing the dough through each time until 1/16 inch thick.

A sheet of thinly rolled pasta dough with mounds of green and white filling being piped on.

Place heaped teaspoons of filling (or use a piping bag) along the length half of the sheet, 1 inch apart. You should have 7-8 mounds.

Thinly rolled pasta dough being folded over mounds of green and white filling.

Fold the opposing long edge of pasta over the filling to cover. Press to seal. 

Filled ravioli being cut with a fluted roller.

Cut into squares with a pastry wheel or a knife. 

Filled ravioli arranged on a baking sheet.

Arrange onto prepared baking sheets in a single layer. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Ravioli being boiled in water.

Cook the ravioli in lots of salted boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain then gently toss in butter sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Hint: Keep each mound of filling closer to the one long edge so that the other long edge can be folded over to seal. When pressing to seal, begin in the middle of the pasta sheet, and press around each mound expelling the air as you work your way towards each end.

Substitutions

  • Spinach – substitute silverbeet, swiss chard or collard greens for the spinach in this ravioli filling. You can also use frozen spinach, however, you will need to thaw it and drain out the liquid so that it doesn’t make your Spinach Ricotta Ravioli soggy. 
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese – try pecorino romano instead. It will be saltier so be sure to adjust the seasoning.
  • Nutmeg – if you don’t have nutmeg or don’t like the flavor, you can just leave it out. 

Variations

  • Zesty – try adding some lemon zest to the ravioli filling for a fresh and fragrant flavor.
  • Garlicky – add some minced garlic into the Spinach Ricotta Ravioli filling for extra punch.
  • Tomato sauce – serve these delicious homemade ravioli with my simple San Marzano Tomato Sauce.

Equipment

While you can roll out pasta dough with just a rolling pin but a hand cranked pasta machine or attachment for the stand mixer will make it easier to make these homemade ravioli. The pasta machine ensures the homemade pasta is rolled out thinly enough. 

Don’t worry about buying fancy ravioli molds or ravioli makers. A fluted pastry pastry wheel will do the job just fine. You could even use a sharp knife if you don’t own a pastry wheel. 

Storage

These ricotta spinach ravioli are best enjoyed fresh. Arrange the homemade ravioli on a sheet pan that is lined with parchment paper and dusted with semolina flour to prevent sticking. To avoid soft or soggy ravioli, cook them within an hour of shaping them or pop them in the refrigerator if it’s going to be longer. 

You can freeze these Spinach Ricotta Ravioli for up to one month. I recommend freezing the homemade ravioli in an airtight container with layers of parchment paper in between the layers to stop them from sticking.

Top tips

Overhead view of spinach ravioli on a plate with a fork and cheese grated on top.

Preparation is the key to making homemade ravioli successfully! Declutter your workspace as you’ll need a large bench or table to shape the ricotta ravioli.  

If you’re using store bought ricotta cheese, be sure to drain excess water from it. Don’t skip this step or the Spinach Ricotta filling will be too wet leaving you with soggy ravioli.

To make the perfect pasta dough and roll it out successfully, take a look at my Tagliatelle Pasta recipe for some helpful hints.

When shaping and assembling the ricotta ravioli be sure to gently smooth out the air bubbles using your fingers. Excess air trapped inside the sealed ravioli could cause the ravioli to open while they cook in the boiling water. 

To avoid the Spinach Ricotta Ravioli from sticking, arrange on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper and dusted with semolina flour. Ensure the ravioli do not touch or overlap as they will stick to each other. 

FAQ

What does ravioli mean in Italian?

In Italian, ravioli refers to the small envelopes of pasta containing a filling. Ravioli is plural and raviolo is one singular Italian filled pasta. 

How to serve Spinach Ricotta Ravioli?

I love to serve Spinach Ricotta Ravioli in a simple butter and Parmesan cheese sauce. However, you could also flavor the butter sauce with some fresh basil, fresh sage or minced garlic.

Is spinach and ricotta ravioli healthy?

I’m not a believer in diet culture and like to eat everything in moderation. For this reason, Spinach Ricotta Ravioli are healthy! Ricotta is rich in calcium and protein. Spinach, like all dark leafy greens, is full of nutrients. And homemade fresh pasta or homemade ravioli are much healthier than store bought because they don’t include any preservatives.  

Serving Suggestions

Spinach ravioli with ricotta on a fork cut in half with more on a plate.

If you don’t like the simple butter ravioli sauce, you can serve these delicious Spinach Ricotta Ravioli in my San Marzano Tomato Sauce or a tomato cream sauce instead. Alongside this delicious pasta dish, you can serve my Semolina Bread for dunking into the sauce and my Mediterranean Cucumber Salad for some freshness. 

Spinach Ricotta ravioli on a off white plate with a sprinkle of finely grated cheese.

Spinach Ravioli Recipe with Ricotta

These delicate Italian ravioli are filled with rich, creamy ricotta, spinach, savory Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and a touch of nutmeg. To finish, my homemade ravioli are tossed in a simple butter sauce and extra cheese to serve.
5 from 95 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings:6 people
Author: Marcellina

Equipment

  • 1 Skillet
  • 1 Hand cranked pasta machine
  • 1 Fluted cutting roller optional
  • 1 Large saucepan
  • 1 Small saucepan

Ingredients

Spinach Ricotta Filling

  • 8 ounces fresh spinach (226 grams)
  • 1 pound fresh ricotta (450 grams)
  • 4 ounces finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano (120 grams)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Pasta Dough

  • 3 ⅓ cups 00 flour (400 grams/14 ounces) See Note 1
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • Semolina flour for dusting

To Serve

  • 4 ounces salted butter (115 grams)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese extra to serve (60 grams)

Instructions

Spinach Ricotta Filling

  • Wash the spinach and wilt in a skillet over medium heat. There’s no need to add any extra water.
  • Cool and squeeze out excess moisture.
  • Chop spinach finely.
  • Combine chopped spinach with the remaining filling ingredients.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Pasta Dough

  • Important – Reserve a few tablespoons of flour to the side.
  • Tip the remaining flour onto the work surface and make a well in the middle.
  • Break eggs into the well in the flour
  • Using a fork (or fingertips) whisk the eggs like you’re making scrambled eggs. As you whisk, bring in a little bit of flour from around the edges and incorporate it into the eggs.
  • Keep working more flour into the dough. A pastry scraper is useful or just use your hands.
  • Add more flour as needed. The dough should not be sticky. If you are rolling by hand do not add too much flour.
  • If the pasta dough is too sticky, knead in a little more flour. If the pasta dough is dry and hard to knead, knead in a little water teaspoon by teaspoon. The more pasta dough you make, the more you'll be able to judge by the feel of the dough.
  • Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes or until it is smooth and you feel the change in the dough. Don’t omit this kneading.
  • Put an upturned bowl over the dough or wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes or so.

Assemble the Ravioli

  • Line large baking sheets with parchment paper then sprinkle with semolina flour. You may need 3 or 4 baking sheets.
  • Divide pasta dough into 4 equal parts. Take one portion keeping the remaining dough covered.
  • Use either a hand cranked pasta machine or pasta attachment for a stand mixer. Set the pasta machine with the rollers at the widest setting.
  • Flatten the dough slightly then pass the dough through the rollers. Remaining on the widest setting, fold the dough and repeat until smooth. Dust with a little flour to prevent the dough from sticking and dragging through the rollers.
  • Reduce the roller width setting gradually, passing the dough through each time (or even twice) until the dough is about 1/16 inch in thickness. Or #7 on a KitchenAid pasta roller.
  • The pasta sheet should be at least 30 inches (75cm) long.
  • Lay the sheet onto a lightly floured surface. That could be your countertop, table or large cutting board. Cut the sheet in half to make two lengths of 15 inches (37.5cm) long. This will make it easier to fold over.
  • Place heaped teaspoons of filling (or use a piping bag) 1 inch (2 ½ cm) along each length of the pasta about ½ inch (a bit over 1cm) from the edge. You should have about 15 mounds. Tip: Keep the each mound closer to the one long edge so that the other long edge can be folded over to seal.
  • Fold the opposing long edge of pasta over the filling matching up the edges. Press around each mound of filling to seal. Tip: Begin in the middle of the pasta length working your way towards each end, press around each mound expelling the air as you go
  • Cut into squares with a fluted pastry wheel or a knife and arrange on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer. You should have made about 15 ravioli with one quarter of the pasta dough.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
  • Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add ravioli. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer; cook until ravioli float to the top and are tender which is about 3 minutes.
  • Drain. Spoon butter sauce over ravioli.
  • Combine gently with a rubber spatula.
  • Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and combine again. Serve immediately.

Butter Sauce

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat with a pinch of salt. You can take it to the browned stage or simply melt the butter.
  • Torn sage leaves can be added. I also like to sauté finely chopped garlic in the butter for a change.

Notes

  1. If using measuring cups be sure to stir the flour and then spoon it in without packing the flour down.
Top Tips
  1. Prepare by decluttering your work surface and ensuring you have space to work.
  2. Drain the ricotta.
  3.  Take a look at my Tagliatelle Pasta recipe for some extra hints.
  4. Be sure to gently smooth out the air bubbles out using your fingers. 
  5. Avoid the Spinach Ricotta Ravioli from sticking to the baking sheet or each other by lining with parchment paper and dust with semolina flour. 
  6. Uncooked ravioli can be frozen for up to two months. Arrange on parchment paper lined baking sheets in a single layer and freeze until solid. When frozen, bag into zip lock freezer bags. Cook from frozen. Frozen ravioli will take 1 or 2 minutes longer to cook. Taste to check.
For more information, read the post above.
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 693kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 235mg | Sodium: 1110mg | Potassium: 446mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 4773IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 565mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is a brilliant recipe I absolutely adore it will def be making this all the time thank you ever so much Marcellina!!

    1. Holly, this is exactly why I love sharing my recipes. Being able to inspire you to make this delicious recipe is exactly what I aim to do. Thank you for your wonderful feedback!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this tonight for the pasta course of my family’s New Year’s Day dinner. It was spectacular and got 10/10 from everyone! The simple brown butter sauce was so flavourful and the ricotta-spinach filling was so delicious. I’ve already been asked to make it again! Worth the time and effort. I made the brown butter sauce and the ricotta-spinach filling last night to save some time today since I was making several courses. It was a smart move. Thanks for this delicious recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    I made the ravioli tonight and am freezing for New Years. I got about 24 out of this but I still had dough and made fetticine, and I’ll figure out what to do with the extra cheese mixture. Recipe worked great! Thanks.

  4. 5 stars
    Terrific recipe!! Made it for Christmas dinner to go with our turkey – followed the recipe, except I used King Arthur AP flour – will definitely make again! It was such a hit!

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Marcellina. So glad I found your site. I don’t have broadband but can access you from my phone. I made ricotta yesterday then made ricotta and spinach raviolis. First time making ricotta and it’s beautiful. Had enough left to sweeten with honey and have it on toast with choc hazelnut sprinkles – I whizzed up a bar of hazelnut choc. I’m not a ‘techy’ person but I recognise that you have an excellent set-up and I look forward to making many more of your inspirational recipes. Thank you so much.

    1. The dough was very dry when made as per recipe. Had to throw it out and found a better recipe.

      1. Hello Punky. I suspect that you have incorrectly measured the flour. Weighing is the best method however if you are using measuring cups be sure to stir the flour then spoon into the cups without packing the flour. My family pasta dough recipe is very similar to all other recipes for pasta dough (1 egg per 100 grams of flour). Pasta dough is incredibly forgiving and you should never have to throw it out (what a waste!). Too dry? Add a little water. Too wet? Add a little flour. Luckily pasta dough isn’t a science. Nonnas in Italy have been making it for years without measuring. However I understand that if you’ve never made pasta dough you would need a recipe. Saying that, if you had made it as specified in the recipe, you would have gradually been incorporating the flour in so you know when enough flour has been incorporated. It is possible that the area you live in is extremely dry. Pasta dough is a wonderful creation that is guided and is in rhythm with the environment, the humidity and the warmth of your hands.