Spinach Ravioli with Ricotta & Herb-Butter Sauce

Maryana Lucia Vestic
Maryana Lucia Vestic

Maryana Lucia Vestic

Maryana is a professional baker and recipe developer. She runs Ravenswood Bakes, a sweet and savory bakery in Rhode Island. Her work has been featured in many prominent food publications.

Last updated:

Some of our posts contain affiliate links. If you buy through our links, we may receive compensation - at no cost to you.

Spinach Ravioli with Ricotta & Herb-Butter Sauce

This Spinach Ravioli With Ricotta & Herb Butter Sauce is one of the most luxurious ravioli recipes you’ll encounter. If you’ve never dreamed of fresh homemade ravioli pillows filled with creamy ricotta and spinach – you will after you try these!

With this recipe, the spinach becomes part of the pasta dough itself. The mouthwatering ricotta filling has a unique mixture of parmesan cheese and warm nutmeg. This Spinach Ravioli is the perfect example of Italian comfort food, with a fragrant herb butter sauce made from just three ingredients. 

Best of all, preparing homemade filled ravioli for dinner only takes about an hour! 

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Pure comfort – Nothing compares to the heavenly taste of homemade pasta.
  • Simple ingredients – You can prepare this ravioli using either fresh or frozen spinach.
  • Quick preparation – Fresh ravioli is less time-consuming to make from scratch than many other pasta shapes.
  • Pairing memorable flavors – Spinach, ricotta cheese, nutmeg, walnuts, butter, and thyme helps achieve a rich flavor profile.
  • Ideal for group dinner – This recipe feeds six, so it’s perfect when you want to impress at a small gathering.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Spinach Ravioli Ingredients

Ingredients

For The Ricotta Filling

  • 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese, drained
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

For The Spinach Pasta

  • 5 oz spinach, frozen or fresh, prepared*. (See notes for preparation tips)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and rolling (start with 1½ cup and add more as needed)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

For The Herb Butter Sauce

  • 2 ¼ oz unsalted butter
  • ¾ oz nuts, roughly chopped (we used pistachio nuts, but walnuts work best)
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or any herb of your choice)

For Serving

  • Extra Parmesan cheese, grated

📝 NOTES:

*Preparation of spinach:

📌 FROZEN SPINACH: If you’re using frozen spinach, start thawing it a day or two before making the pasta. Take the frozen block out of the box, put it in a colander over a bowl and let it thaw/drain completely for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator. Squeeze the thawed spinach in handfuls to press out as much liquid as possible.

📌 FRESH SPINACH: If you’re using fresh spinach, try to start a day ahead. Wash it thoroughly in several changes of cold water, remove the stems, and cook it for 5 minutes or more in a large volume of boiling water. Remove the spinach from the pot and let it drain and cool in a colander, then squeeze out as much water as possible. If possible, let it drain and dry in the colander overnight. Squeeze the spinach again the next day.

📌 RICOTTA: The ricotta will perform best if allowed to drain overnight before preparing the pasta.

How To Make Spinach Ravioli With Ricotta & Herb-Butter Sauce

Step 1: Prepare The Ricotta Filling

Stir all the ingredients for the ricotta filling together and chill. (This includes ricotta, parmesan, egg, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.)

Step 1: Prepare The Ricotta Filling

Step 2: Blend the Spinach and Flour

Put the spinach into the food processor bowl and purée it thoroughly, scraping it off the sides. (As my spinach was very dry, my mixture didn’t puree; it simply chopped very finely, which is okay too.)

Step 2: Blend the Spinach and Flour

Step 3: Make the Pasta Dough

To make the dough, add 1½ cups of all-purpose flour to a dough kneader. Whisk together the two eggs, the yolk, and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Turn the dough kneader on medium and add the spinach purée and the egg mixture. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes.

Alternative Method to Making the Pasta Dough

Instead of using a dough kneader, you can use the food processor where you’ve pureed the spinach.

Whisk together the whole egg, extra yolk, and oil in a bowl or measuring cup with a spout. With the food processor running, pour in the liquid ingredients on top of the green flour.

Process for about 30 seconds, and scrape down the bowl. Process another 20 to 30 seconds until the dough has started to come together in a ball on the blade. (If the dough remains too wet and doesn’t form a ball, continue to add flour until it does.)

Step 4: Rest the Dough

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until it’s smooth. Wrap well in plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes before rolling. 

Step 3: Make the Pasta Dough

Step 5: Make the Herb Butter Sauce

While the dough is resting, melt the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the nuts and herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until the herbs are crisp and the butter is golden. Remove from heat (this can be reheated again when the pasta is ready to serve.)

Step 6: Roll and Fill Ravioli

Roll out the pasta to workable sheets. Place one long pasta sheet on a lightly floured surface. Place heaped teaspoonfuls of chilled ricotta mixture at 2-inch intervals on the pastry sheet, leaving a ¾ inch border around the edges. (Depending on how wide your sheet is, you may be able to do 2 rows.)

Step 6: Roll and Fill Ravioli

Using a pastry brush, brush the pasta edges with water, working around the dollops of ricotta.

Step 7: Seal the Ravioli

Top with another pasta sheet and press the edges together to seal, ensuring there are no air bubbles. Use a ravioli shaper or knife to cut between each dollop of mixture to make squares. Repeat with remaining pasta sheets and filling.

Step 7: Seal the Ravioli

Step 8: Cook

Cook about 4 ravioli squares at a time in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes or until al dente. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining pasta. Divide the ravioli among serving bowls and spoon over the butter sauce. (Alternatively, you can add the cooked ravioli to the pan of butter sauce for a quick stir, and then transfer to serving plates.) 

Step 9: Serve

Grate Parmesan cheese directly on top. Serve immediately.

Grate Parmesan cheese directly on top of the Spinach Ravioli

Serving Suggestions

Here are some creative ideas for how to serve your Spinach Ravioli With Ricotta & Herb-Butter Sauce.


🧑‍🍳 Expert Tips

  • Allow pasta dough to rest. Once you prepare the ravioli dough, it should rest for 20-30 minutes. This way, the gluten in the dough has a chance to relax completely.
  • Chill the ricotta cheese. If your ricotta filling isn’t properly chilled, it could seep out when added to the ravioli sheets.
  • Carefully seal the ravioli. If you brush the edges of each ravioli with water (using a pastry brush), they will seal and not allow liquid inside during boiling.

Storage Suggestions

  • Pasta dough can be stored for up to 2 days in the refrigerator in an airtight Ziploc bag.
  • To freeze the ravioli, add some semolina to a baking tray. Place the ravioli on the tray (without covering it) to freeze for 15 minutes. Then, put the ravioli in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When using frozen ravioli leftovers of Spinach Ravioli With Ricotta & Herb-Butter Sauce, you can boil them right out of the freezer for 5 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind of Sauce Do You Serve With Ravioli?

Italian tradition favors serving ravioli with a homemade tomato sauce (usually a marinara). A more trendy choice includes sauteing the ravioli in browned butter and serving them with black pepper, salt, and crispy sage. You could think outside the box and enjoy these Spinach Ravioli with vodka sauce, pesto, or a lemon-butter sauce.

What Do You Serve With Spinach Ravioli?

These Spinach Ravioli With Ricotta & Herb-Butter Sauce may only need simple side dishes like an Italian radicchio salad or garlic bread. They pair well with bruschetta too, whether served alongside the ravioli or as an appetizer. Bruschetta is grilled bread which is usually topped with olive oil, garlic, chopped tomatoes, and basil.

What Do Italians Eat Ravioli With?

Italians typically serve their ravioli inside a meat or vegetable-based broth (called a “brodo”). This practice dates back to the Renaissance and the northern Italian city of Bologna. The broth brings whatever the main flavor is in the ravioli front and center. Italians also enjoy serving other filled pasta in broth, like tortellini or cappelletti, which means “little hats” in Italian.

Do You Have To Drain Ricotta for Ravioli?

If you’re using store-bought ricotta for this Spinach Ravioli With Ricotta & Herb-Butter Sauce, it’s best to drain it the night before. Use a fine mesh strainer and place it over a bowl. Once you add the ricotta to the strainer, cover and refrigerate it anywhere from 8 hours to 3 days in advance.

Why Is My Ravioli Floating Immediately?

Unlike traditional pasta (spaghetti, rigatoni, etc.), filled pasta like ravioli tends to float during the boiling process. The air inside the ravioli expands, which causes them to float. Remember that floating ravioli doesn’t mean they’re ready to eat. Cook them according to the recipe instructions for the perfect al-dente bite.

Spinach Ravioli

SPINACH RAVIOLI WITH RICOTTA & HERB-BUTTER SAUCE

This Spinach Ravioli With Ricotta & Herb Butter Sauce is one of the most luxurious ravioli recipes. The mouthwatering ricotta filling becomes more unique with the help of parmesan cheese and the warmth of nutmeg. This Spinach Ravioli is the perfect example of Italian comfort food, with a fragrant herb butter sauce made from just three ingredients.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 Entrée Servings
Calories 359 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

For the ricotta filling

  • 1 ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

For the spinach pasta

  • 5 oz spinach, chopped or baby spinach *(see notes for preparation tips)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and rolling (I think it should be 1-1/2 cups, but start with 1 and add as needed)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

For the herb butter sauce

  • oz unsalted butter
  • ¾ oz walnuts, roughly chopped (or any nut of your choice)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or herb of your choice)

For serving

  • Extra Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions
 

  • Stir all the ingredients for the ricotta filling together and chill. (This includes ricotta, parmesan, egg, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.)
    Step-1-Prepare-The-Ricotta-Filling
  • Put the spinach into the food processor bowl and purée it thoroughly, scraping it off the sides. With the spinach and the blade in place, add the flour to the food processor and pulse to blend with the spinach, scraping as necessary.
    Step-2-Blend-the-Spinach-and-Flour
  • Whisk together the whole egg, extra yolk, and oil in a bowl or measuring cup with a spout. With the food processor running, pour in the liquid ingredients on top of the green flour. Process for about 30 seconds, and scrape down the bowl. Process another 20 to 30 seconds, until the dough has started to come together in a ball on the blade. (If the dough remains too wet and doesn’t form a ball, continue to add flour until it does.)
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until it’s smooth. Wrap well in plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes before rolling.
    Step-3-Make-the-Pasta-Dough
  • While the dough is resting, melt the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the nuts and herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until the herbs are crisp and the butter is golden. Remove from heat (this can be reheated again when the pasta is ready to serve.)
  • Roll out the pasta to workable sheets. Place one long pasta sheet on a lightly floured surface. Place heaped teaspoonfuls of chilled ricotta mixture at 2-inch intervals on the pastry sheet, leaving a ¾ inch border around the edges. (Depending on how wide your sheet is, you may be able to do 2 rows.) Using a pastry brush, brush the pasta edges with water, working around the dollops of ricotta.
    Step-6-Roll-and-Fill-Ravioli
  • Top with another pasta sheet and press the edges together to seal, ensuring there are no air bubbles. Use a ravioli shaper or knife to cut between each dollop of mixture to make squares. Repeat with remaining pasta sheets and filling.
    Step-7-Seal-the-Ravioli
  • Cook about 4 ravioli squares at a time in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes or until al dente. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining pasta. Divide the ravioli among serving bowls and spoon over the butter sauce. (Alternatively, you can add the cooked ravioli to the pan of butter sauce for a quick stir, and then transfer to serving plates.)
  • Grate Parmesan cheese directly on top. Serve immediately.
    Spinach-Ravioli-With-Ricotta-Herb-Butter-Sauce

Notes

*Preparation of spinach
📌 FROZEN SPINACH: If you’re using frozen spinach, start thawing it a day or two before making the pasta. Take the frozen block out of the box, put it in a colander over a bowl and let it thaw/drain completely for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator. Squeeze the thawed spinach in handfuls to press out as much liquid as possible.
📌 FRESH SPINACH: If you’re using fresh spinach, try to start a day ahead. Wash it thoroughly in several changes of cold water, remove the stems, and cook it for 5 minutes or more in a large volume of boiling water. Remove the spinach from the pot and let it drain and cool in a colander, then squeeze out as much water as possible. If possible, let it drain and dry in the colander overnight. Squeeze the spinach again the next day.
📌 RICOTTA: The ricotta will perform best if allowed to drain overnight before preparing the pasta.

Nutrition

Calories: 359kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 16gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 155mgSodium: 425mgPotassium: 265mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 3067IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 293mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Ravioli, Spinach Ravioli
Tried this recipe?Let us know how if you liked it in the comments below!

Did you find this post useful?

Give it a star rating and let us know!

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Recommended Posts
Maryana Lucia Vestic
About The Author
Maryana is a professional baker and recipe developer. She runs Ravenswood Bakes, a sweet and savory bakery in Rhode Island. Her work has been featured in many prominent food publications.

Comments

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




The maximum upload file size: 100 MB. You can upload: image. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.