• Pasta with Spinach, Ricotta, Ham

    10 votes
    Pasta with Spinach, Ricotta, Ham
    Prep: 10 min Cook: 15 min Servings: 6
    by John Spottiswood
    300 recipes
    This is one of our family staples. It is healthy and delicious! Two of our kids say it is their favorite dish. We've adapted it from Marcella Hazan. It's easy to throw together and great the next day too.


    • 2 lbs fresh spinach or 2 10oz pkgs frozen spinach (thawed)
    • 4 tbsp butter (can substitute some olive oil for health)
    • 4 oz boiled ham, chopped (less, more, or none to taste)
    • Whole nutmeg (or powdered)
    • 1/2 cup fresh ricotta (we use lowfat)
    • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
    • 1 lb rotini, penne, maccheroncini, or rigatoni pasta (we use Barilla Plus -- tasty & healthy)
    • Salt & Pepper to taste


    1. Squeeze the moisture out of the spinach and chop it fine
    2. Boil water and cook and drain pasta.
    3. Put half the butter in a saute pan and turn to medium high. When butter foams, add ham, turn 2-3 times, then add spinach and liberal pinches of salt--the spinach needs it for flavor. Turn to high and saute spinach, turning frequently, for about 2 minutes.
    4. Remove from heat and mix in nutmeg, grated or powdered (no more than 1/8 tsp).
    5. Toss the pasta with the contents of the pan, plus the ricotta, the remaining butter, and the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
    6. Serve with salad, warm bread, and Parmesan and Pepper on the side.

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    • John Spottiswood
      John Spottiswood
      I filed this as Vegetarian too because it tastes great with or without the ham. If you leave out the ham, I would recommend extra spinach, a little extra kosher salt and freshly ground pepper at the end, and possibly extra ricotta.
      • Karen Chow
        This was great! It'll be come a staple in our family repertoire too. My husband & I also enjoyed it with red pepper flakes on top.
        I've enjoyed making a few of your recipes. The African Peanut Chicken stew was a hit with our guests too.
      • Nancy Miyasaki
        Nancy Miyasaki
        Delicious and easy! My kids love this and so do I. I'll typically cook extra ham and give it to my kids while loading my husband (largely vegetarian) with extra spinach. It is always in demand the next day as well!
        • Brett Templeman
          Brett Templeman
          Jacki made this the other night, veggie style, with a ton of fresh spinach. It was great.
          • Sarah Easler
            Sarah Easler
            Update: LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!! One of our new faves. ;)
            • A. Henry
              A. Henry
              I changed this recipe up a little to my liking. Instead of ham, I used sliced mushrooms and sauted them in a combo of 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 butter. I also included garlic powder to taste and red pepper flakes to taste for a little kick. Maybe next time, I will add some toasted pine nuts.
              • Denise Sherin
                Denise Sherin
                John, Thank you for sharing this!!!!!! My 7yr. old told me its his new favorite and that we have to have it once a week! :) I said you may get tired of it, he said ok once every 2 wks then. We love this pasta! I did add more ham and ricotta then called for and I put onions in w the spinach and ham. It is just the best! Thanks for a new family favorite! When I first looked at the recipe I thought maybe I will change the ham to shrimp, but after tasting it the ham adds such a wonderful flavor, I will only make it this way!!


                • Suzee Woods
                  Suzee Woods

                  Making this soon though, I'll substitute the Ham with grilled chicken breast , we're not pork eaters. Sounds great! Thanks for this recipe.
                  • ShaleeDP
                    I am definitely going to try this soon. It sounds wonderful and tasty. Can't wait to do this!
                    • Infinity
                      One I'll be trying for sure!
                      • John Spottiswood
                        John Spottiswood
                        Hope you enjoy it and post a review, Infinity!
                      • Sarah Easler
                        Sarah Easler
                        I'm trying to break out of my chicken habit...this sounds like a wonderful new ham recipe!!

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