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!
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 bottom of the page.
- 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
Wash spinach then cook in a pan over medium until wilted. Cool and squeeze out excess moisture. Chop spinach finely.
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.
Break eggs into the well in the flour
Using a fork (or fingertips) whisk the eggs.
Gradually incorporate a little bit of flour into the eggs working into a scraggy dough.
Knead the dough until it’s smooth.
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.
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.
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.
Fold the opposing long edge of pasta over the filling to cover. Press to seal.
Cut into squares with a pastry wheel or a knife.
Arrange onto prepared baking sheets in a single layer. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
In Italian, ravioli refers to the small envelopes of pasta containing a filling. Ravioli is plural and raviolo is one singular Italian filled pasta.
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.
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.
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 Ravioli Recipe with Ricotta
- 1 Skillet
- 1 Hand cranked pasta machine
- 1 Fluted cutting roller optional
- 1 Large saucepan
- 1 Small saucepan
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
- 3 ⅓ cups 00 flour (400 grams/14 ounces)
- 4 eggs
- Semolina flour for dusting
- 4 ounces salted butter (115 grams)
- pinch salt
- 2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese extra to serve (60 grams)
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.
- Reserve a couple of tablespoons of flour. 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
- 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 1/16 inch in thickness.
- 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.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat with a pinch of salt. Torn sage leaves can be added.
- Prepare by decluttering your work surface and ensuring you have space to work.
- Drain the ricotta.
- Take a look at my Tagliatelle Pasta recipe for some extra hints.
- Be sure to gently smooth out the air bubbles out using your fingers.
- Avoid the Spinach Ricotta Ravioli from sticking to the baking sheet or each other by lining with parchment paper and dust with semolina flour.
Nutritional Information Per Serving
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.
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