15 Minute Pasta with Spinach Ricotta Pesto
This quick and simple 15 minute pasta with spinach ricotta pesto makes a great weeknight meal!
Spinach ricotta pesto is a great variation to the traditional pesto. It’s ridiculously easy to make and comes together in about 3 minutes flat. Puree the spinach, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil with an immersion blender then add the ricotta and blend until smooth.
It’s the first time I put ricotta into my pesto, and I think I like it even more than the classic pesto. It’s fresh, creamy, thick and smooth, not to mention it’s so delicious.
It’s great with pasta of course but it can be served with potatoes, chicken, fish or as a spread on sandwiches, wraps, and pizza.
One of the things I love about pesto is that you can really get creative with the ingredients and customize it to suit your taste. You can substitute pine nuts with walnuts, almonds, pistachios or cashew nuts, replace the spinach with another leafy green, or swap the Parmesan cheese for pecorino.
Feel free to use whatever pasta you have on hand: farfalle, penne, rigatoni, spaghetti, whole wheat, spelt, etc.
Spinach ricotta pesto will last in the refrigerator for about 3 days in an airtight container and it can easily be frozen.
How To Make It: 15 Minute Pasta with Spinach Ricotta Pesto
- 11.3 oz. (320 g) mezzi rigatoni or any pasta you prefer
- 8 oz. (225 g) fresh spinach
- ½ clove garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese + extra for serving
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 7 ounces (200 g) low-fat ricotta cheese or part skim
You will also need:
- a bowl of ice cold water.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add the pasta to the water and cook according to package directions.
- Bring another large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the spinach for about 1 minute, remove and place in the ice bath. Drain again and squeeze as much liquid from the spinach as possible, then roughly chop.
- Puree the spinach, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil with an immersion blender then add the ricotta and blend until smooth.
- Drain the pasta and add the pesto. Stir to coat evenly and serve with a generous amount of grated parmesan cheese.