TDM CCN Header

05 March 2011

Spinach Rolls With Ricotta & Pistachios


Checking my refrigerator, I saw that I still have an open packet of lasagna noodles that remained from the lasagna I recently did (I am posting the lasagna recipe soon when I finalize it.). There was the tub of ricotta still staring back at me.  I had been evading it because I didn't feel like cooking with ricotta. I only eat that cheese when it's used in the Sicilian cannoli or when used as an ingredient among many to hide the creaminess a bit.  I have a big pack of fresh spinach that's just bought and occupying almost one shelf in the refrigerator.  Better diminish it fast.


With these ingredients,  I thought of preparing some ricotta & spinach rolls for dinner.  You usually do these rolls with freshly done egg pasta but I am not accordant with these, basically because I am always pressed for time before my 1-year old starts to demand for her dinner by clinging to my leg.  I have an electric pasta maker sitting forlornly in the stockroom that was given to me by my husband.  It has been untouched for more than a decade and perhaps will remain like that for the years to come. Maybe one day I will wake up with the new will to prepare my own pasta. 


Ricotta partnered with spinach is one of the most classic combinations used as pasta fillings for ravioli, cannelloni, tortellini, to name a few.  It's also a good combination to use for frittatas (omelettes) and torta rustica (pies). I thought I would experiment in adding some pistachios to this classic combination. 





Spinach Rolls With Ricotta & Pistachios

Ingredients:
Serves 4
  • 250 grams fresh spinach
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • Salt 
  • 200 grams ricotta 
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan cheese, grated 
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg 
  • 1 cup pistachios, finely chopped
  • 4 lasagna sheets
Directions:
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil to cook the lasagna sheets.
  2. Over medium heat, sautè the spinach in a saucepan with about a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil that is just enough to oil the pan. Season with salt then cook for 10 minutes.
  3. When the spinach is cooked, let it cool down then transfer it to a food processor to finely chop.
  4. In a mixing bowl, put the ricotta, spinach, 1/4 cup Parmesan, nutmeg, pistachios and a dash of salt. Set the mixture aside.
  5. When the water for the lasagna boils, add some coarse salt then add the lasagna sheets, following the instructions in the package as to the number of minutes in cooking. If it is not indicated, do it by eye, about 5 - 6 minutes or when the sheets are soft.
  6. Lay one lasagna sheet on a clean plate then pat dry with a kitchen paper towel.
  7. Spread the ricotta mixture on the lasagna sheet then roll until the end.
  8. Using a sharp knife and with great care, make some slices of about 2 cm. each or whatever thickness you prefer. Do the same with the rest of the ingredients.
  9. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan before serving.
  10. They can be eaten tepid or if you want it warm, pop them in the microwave for a few seconds before serving.