With a tub of ricotta and a hardly-touched container of baby spinach from Costco sitting in the fridge for a couple of weeks, it was time to put the two ingredients together to make something wonderful – that dish was a ricotta, spinach and pesto pasta.
Ricotta is a dreamy ingredient to work with. It adds a smooth creaminess to dishes and its subtle flavour can provide a delicious slate to work on. It also happens to be an ingredient I hardly use or get my hands on. When I do have access to it, I tend to use it up in lasagna which is basically the first thing that comes to mind, or in baked goods. It also tastes delicious spread atop crunchy crostinis paired with other ingredients such as sun dried tomatoes, basil, and so on. Even though I have all these awesome ideas, I just hardly ever use it.
I was given a small tub of ricotta and was wondering how to use it up. I knew the easiest thing on my mind was to make some sort of pasta but I really wanted to stray away from lasagna. The solution? A bag of organic whole wheat mini rotini from a recent trip to Trader Joe’s plus, all that leftover spinach and pesto in the fridge. Yum.
I usually make my own pesto but I purchased a small container of Golda’s Hemp Pesto because it just sounded so interesting — and I thought I had tried all the pesto combinations. Nope! The hemp pesto was delicious on its own but was an even better addition to the pasta. A little sprinkle of parmesan cheese and some grated lemon zest and the dish was complete.
Oh, and not to mention it only takes 15-20 minutes to make (basically, the time it takes to boil and cook pasta). Yup. Thanks me.
*Note: I used a ton of pesto in this recipe. I think it outshone the rest of the ingredients so maybe just use a few tablespoons and adjust it to taste. The pesto was expiring so I had no choice but to use it all!
Ricotta, spinach and pesto pasta
What you’ll need:
– 1 pkg (500g) rotini
– 2 tsps ghee or vegetable oil
– 6 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 small onion, diced
– 1 container (400g) baby spinach
– 1 small container ricotta cheese
– 1 cup hemp pesto
– 2 tbsp fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
– Zest of 1 lemon
– Salt and pepper, to taste
What you’ll need to do:
1. In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook your pasta according to packaged directions. Rinse, drain and set aside for later.
2. While the pasta is cooking, make your sauce. In a medium saucepan, melt the ghee or vegetable oil until it is hot (over medium-high heat).
3. Add the garlic and onion and saute for 1 minute.
4. Add the spinach and cook until wilted.
5. Add the ricotta and stir around until it melts.
6. Add the pesto, Parmesan cheese, and the lemon zest and stir until everything is incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Toss with the cooked pasta and serve while hot. Makes 6-8 servings.