Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli From Scratch

Learn how to make spinach and ricotta ravioli from scratch. From making the pasta dough to preparing the creamy filling with ricotta cheese and fresh spinach.

Our step-by-step recipe will show you how easy is to make this traditional Italian dish at home.

Homemade spinach and ricotta ravioli.

What Is Spinach And Ricotta Ravioli?

Spinach and ricotta ravioli is a traditional Italian dish that consists of fresh ravioli pasta stuffed with a mixture of creamy ricotta cheese and spinach.

This dish belongs to the category of pasta ripiena (stuffed pasta) and is one of the most popular in Italy and all over the world.

Ravioli, are usually prepared at home only on special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas, or Easter because they can be time-consuming.

In Italy, is very common to make this kind of preparation with the help of other family members or friends. Sharing time in the kitchen is one of the most beautiful traditions in this country.

Uncooked ravioli scattered on a wood surface.

There are many types of ravioli in Italy, and the shape of those little wrappers can change, along with the name. The fillings are countless with so many traditional recipes all over the country.

But today I am showing you how to make the basic ravioli pasta with one of the most popular fillings: Ricotta cheese and spinach, known in Italy as ravioli di ricotta e spinaci.

The Ingredients

For the pasta dough:

  • FLOUR: Use all-purpose flour, or you can also use a mix of flour and semolina for a more “rustic” texture.
  • EGGS: I used medium eggs for this recipe, each egg without the shell weighed about 2 oz (54 gr).
  • WATER: Use cold water, and only add it in small portions, one tablespoon at a time.
  • SALT: You can add it to the flour or dissolve it in a bit of water.
  • SEMOLINA: This is an optional ingredient to flour the surface where you will prepare the ravioli. Replace with all-purpose flour if you don’t have semolina.

For the filling:

  • RICOTTA CHEESE: Use cow’s ricotta or goat ricotta cheese.
  • SPINACH: For spinach, you can use both fresh and frozen. If you use fresh, follow the recommendation of the recipe (about 5oz/150 gr), if you use frozen, 4 cubes will be enough.
  • PARMIGIANO CHEESE: Also known as parmesan cheese in other countries. You can also use a mix of pecorino and Parmigiano if you prefer.
  • NUTMEG: The traditional recipe includes nutmeg freshly grated, but you can also use ground nutmeg.
  • SALT & PEPPER: For seasoning. Just Remember that Parmigiano is already salty.
Uncooked ravioli on a cutting board sprinkled with flour.

How To Make Ravioli With Ricotta And Spinach

Make the dough

Place the flour on a working surface and add a pinch of salt, make a well and crack the eggs in the middle.

Start mixing the ingredients with your fingers to combine the eggs with the flour.

Mixing the flour with eggs to make the dough for ravioli.

Work slowly to combine all ingredients. If necessary, add one or two tablespoons of cold water but only if you see that the flour is too dry.

The photo below shows the eggs integrated with the flour before kneading.

Ravioli dough ingredients combined.

Now, knead for 10-15 minutes by hand (or 5 minutes in a stand mixer) until you get an elastic and very smooth dough.

Wrap with cling film and let it rest in a dry and cool place for 30 minutes.

Ravioli pasta dough shaped into a ball.

Make the filling

While the dough is resting, cook the spinach in water with salt for 5 minutes.

Drain them very well and squeeze them until all liquid is discarded. Let them cool completely and then chop them finely with a knife.

Place the spinach in a bowl and add the ricotta cheese, Parmigiano cheese, a pinch of salt, freshly cracked pepper, and nutmeg. Mix well until combined.

A collage with two photos of the spinach and ricotta ravioli filling preparation.

Make ravioli

Sprinkle some flour on a working surface. Divide the dough into 3 parts so it is more manageable. Leave two portions well covered with cling film to prevent them from drying out.

Roll the dough into two long rectangular sheets about 1mm thick (a little less than 1/16″). You can use a pasta machine or do it by hand with a rolling pin.

Two rectangles of rolled pasta dough.

On one of the sheets, place small mounds of the ricotta and spinach filling, leaving about 3cm (1.2-inch) of empty space between them.

Placing spinach and ricotta filling on the pasta sheet.

Moist the dough between each portion and around the filling with a bit of water, you can use a brush or your fingers.

Brushing water on the dough between ravioli filling.

Now, place the other sheet of pasta dough on top of the filling, making sure the edges are well aligned to each other.

Flatten with your fingers in the middle and around the filling so the dough sheets stick well. This will prevent ravioli from opening during cooking.

Pressing the dough with fingers to stick well.

Cut the ravioli into 4×4 cm (1.5×1.5-inch) squares. You can use a cookie cutter or a knife.

Cutting the spinach and ricotta ravioli with a cooking cutter.

Now, place ravioli on a plate or tray floured with a little semolina or all-purpose flour to prevent them from sticking together.

The spinach and ricotta ravioli on a floured plate.

Repeat the steps with all other portions of dough. Then proceed with the cooking or freeze as suggested below.

Recipe Notes

  • Always allow the ravioli to rest from 30 minutes to 1 hour in the refrigerator before cooking them. This resting time helps to prevent the ravioli from breaking when boiling in the water.
  • You can prepare the spinach and ricotta filling up to 2 days in advance and keep it in the fridge until it is time to use it.
  • To make the preparation of the ravioli easier, you can place the filling mixture in a pastry bag as shown in the video.
  • Check up the ricotta cheese, if it’s too watery you might need to drain it by placing it on a colander over a bowl for about 2 hours.
  • Don’t worry if your ravioli are not perfectly cut, that’s the beauty of homemade pasta!

How To Cook

  • Once all ravioli are made, place them in the fridge for 15 minutes to set.
  • Add plenty of water to a large pot, bring to a boil, and add a good pinch of salt.
  • Carefully add the spinach ravioli to the pot and stir gently.
  • Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until all pieces are floating on top.
  • Remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon and place them in a mixing bowl.
  • Add your favorite sauce, coat, and serve.
Two plates with spinach and ricotta ravioli coated with tomato sauce.

Best Sauce For Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli

  • Pomodoro: Simple tomato sauce with a pinch of oregano or basil.
  • Burro e salvia: Butter and sage is one of the best sauces for spinach and ricotta ravioli.
  • Ragù: Try this ravioli recipe with ragù or bolognese sauce.
  • Pesto: Try this red pesto recipe or use your favorite brand of store-bought pesto.
Spinach and ricotta ravioli coated with butter and sage served on a serving plate with parmigiano.

How To Freeze

Freshly made spinach and ricotta ravioli can be frozen for up to 2 months. Place them in a single layer on a floured plate or tray and put them in the freezer for about 3 hours or until they’re hard.

Transfer them to a resealable bag or an airtight container and return them to the freezer.

Frozen spinach and ricotta ravioli don’t need to be thaw before cooking, just add them directly into the boiling water.

For storing leftovers already cooked and coated with sauce, just place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.

More fresh pasta recipes

Spinach and ricotta ravioli.

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli

author Maricruz
Learn to make spinach and ricotta ravioli from scratch. From making the dough to preparing the creamy filling with ricotta cheese and spinach.
prep 30 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
total 1 hour
serving 4

Ingredients 

For the pasta dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (+ more for rolling)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp cold water
  • pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 5.5 oz fresh spinach
  • ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (grated)
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions
 

Make the dough:

  • Place the flour on a working surface and add a pinch of salt, make a well and crack the eggs in the middle.
  • Start mixing the ingredients with your fingers until the eggs are integrated with the flour.
  • Begin to knead little by little integrating the flour well. Add one or two tablespoons of cold water while kneading.
  • Knead for 10-15 minutes by hand (less if you use a stand mixer) until you get an elastic and completely smooth dough.
  • Wrap the dough with kitchen film and let it rest in a cool place for 30 minutes.

Make the filling:

  • Cook the spinach in salted water until tender.
  • Drain them very well and squeeze them until most liquid is discarded.
  • Let them cool completely and then chop them finely with a knife.
  • Put the spinach in a bowl, add the ricotta cheese, the Parmigiano cheese, a little salt and pepper, and the nutmeg. Mix to combine.

Make ravioli:

  • Flour a working surface and divide the dough into 3 parts.
  • Leave two dough portions well covered with cling film while working with one.
  • Roll the dough into two long rectangular sheets about 1mm thick (a little less than 1/16″).
  • Place small mounds of the ricotta filling on one of the sheets, leaving about 3cm (1.2-inch) of empty space between them.
  • Brush with a bit of water the dough and around the filling.
  • Then place the other sheet of pasta dough on top of the filling, making sure the edges are well aligned to each other. 
  • Flatten with your fingers in the middle and around the filling so the dough sheets stick nicely.
  • With a cookie cutter or a knife, cut 4×4 cm (1.5×1.5-inch) squares.
  • Place ravioli on a floured plate or tray to prevent them from sticking together.
  • Transfer the ravioli to the fridge and allow them to rest from 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking them.
  • Repeat until all dough and filling are used.

How to cook:

  • Bring to a boil a large pot with salted water.
  • Carefully add the fresh ravioli to the pot and stir gently.
  • Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until all pieces are floating on top.
  • Remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon and place them in a mixing bowl.
  • Add your favorite sauce, mix to coat, and serve.

Notes

  • Always allow the ravioli to rest from 30 minutes to 1 hour in the refrigerator before cooking them. This resting time helps to prevent the ravioli from breaking when boiling in the water.
  • You can prepare the spinach and ricotta filling up to 2 days in advance and keep it in the fridge until it is time to use it.
  • To make the preparation of the ravioli easier, you can place the filling mixture in a pastry bag as shown in the video.
  • Check up the ricotta cheese, if it’s too watery you might need to drain it by placing it on a colander over a bowl for about 2 hours.
  • Don’t worry if your ravioli are not perfectly cut, that’s the beauty of homemade pasta!
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1serving w/o sauce | Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 294mg | Potassium: 364mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 4025IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 274mg | Iron: 5mg
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FAQ

What is ravioli traditionally served with?

In Italy, ravioli are a primo piatto, this means they are an individual course and they are served on their own without any sides before the main course.

What protein goes well with ravioli?

The best protein that goes well with this ricotta ravioli recipe is ragù or a cheese sauce.

What can ravioli be served with?

A good sprinkle of the best Parmigiano or pecorino cheese you can, or depending on the filling, a good white or red wine. You don’t need more.

How To Reheat

Ricotta ravioli leftovers can be reheated in the microwave in 1-minute intervals. Or in a pan over medium heat with a splash of water or milk (depending on the sauce you used) stirring gently until warmed through.

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Ooh your ravioli looks so good. It reminds me that making your own isn’t nearly as difficult as you think. I’ve only ever made it once before, but have been meaning to make it a regular ever since. You’ve inspired me to go for it.

  2. 5 stars
    Adding this recipe to a list of favorites. Simple and absolutely delicious. The dough is a delight to work with— it rolls out easily and holds its structure so well. Didn’t have one tear nor an explosion in boiling. Thank you very much