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ricotta spinach pasta with tomato sauce
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5 from 6 votes

Ricotta Spinach Pasta with Tomato Sauce

We've paired a ricotta spinach pasta with a fresh chunky tomato sauce for a healthy, satisfying side or main dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 4
Author: Cheryl


  • 1 1/2 cup small pasta (fusilli, ziti, baby penne)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic minced (you will need two more for the sauce)
  • 2 1/2 cup frozen spinach (to make 3/4 cup cooked)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup ricotta (not light)
  • 1 cup half and half cream (or milk)
  • up to 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1/2 teaspoon each, salt and pepper (or to taste)

Tomato Sauce

  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (540 ml)
  • 2 teaspoon garlic minced (2 cloves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (or to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • MAKE THE TOMATO SAUCE: Use a good bottled or canned sauce if you want to take a shortcut. Otherwise.... In a medium saucepan, heat olive on medium, add garlic and stir for a minute (make sure it doesn't burn as it will become bitter). Add the diced tomatoes, chili flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Stir. Cook uncovered for about 20 minutes until thickened. Adjust seasonings (and add others if you like).
  • MAKE THE PASTA: While the tomato sauce is cooking, boil the pasta in salted water in a medium-large sauce pan according to pasta directions for al dente. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
  • MAKE THE SPINACH-RICOTTA SAUCE: Microwave frozen spinach covered for 3 minutes. Drain and squeeze out water in paper towel. In the same saucepan you boiled the pasta, melt oil over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring. Add ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, cream and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Cook for a few minutes, stirring until smooth. Mix in the cooked pasta. Add a bit of pasta water at a time, if needed, to create the right consistency. Continue stirring until pasta is heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings, keeping in mind the tomato sauce topping.
  • SERVE: Spoon into bowls and top with a few tablespoons of tomato sauce or pass the tomato sauce on the side. Pass additional grated Parmesan cheese as well if desired.


Make Ahead: Both the spinach ricotta pasta and tomato sauce can be made ahead. Keep in fridge separately for up to 2-3 days. Warm pasta and sauce separately in microwave or on stove. You will likely need to add a bit of liquid to the pasta to return it to a creamier state. 
Nutrition values are estimates
Calories: 478kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 1073mg | Potassium: 788mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 12186IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 501mg | Iron: 4mg