Snowy winter days bring carb cravings. This recipe will satiate those cravings. I can’t even pretend it’s healthy but it’s delicious. You can add a salad on the side. I prefer to serve it with sausages. Since it’s a simple recipe with few ingredients, buy the best ingredients. Splurge on the pasta, buy a creamy ricotta, toss in fresh baby spinach and grate your own parmigiano-reggiano. Honestly, I often double the sauce recipe. Also, this recipe takes about 30 minutes in total.
I’m a believer of prepping before you cook. Fill the pasta pot with water and put it on the stove. Put an inch of water in a second pot for the spinach, I use a 10 inch fry pan, and place it on the stove. Dice your onion and place it in a bowl. Pull out the your butter and measure the ricotta and cream. My whole nutmeg tends to get pushed into the back of my baking shelf, so I take it out and find the grater. Once I get cooking I don’t want to be slowed down by having to search for ingredients. Being organized makes the cooking experience more pleasant.
6 ounces fresh baby spinach
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound penne
3/4 whole-milk ricotta
1/3 cup of heavy cream
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Bring your pasta water to a boil.
Bring the spinach water to a boil. Add about a teaspoon of salt. Once it’s boiling, toss in the spinach and stir it. It will greatly reduce, so if your pan is small, you add it a little at a time. The spinach should take about 5 minutes to cook. Once it’s completely wilted, drain in a colander. Let it cool for a couple of minutes. You can use the back of large spoon to squeeze out the water or you can use your hands. Transfer the spinach to a cutting board and finely chop it.
Melt the butter in a large skillet and add onions. I like to cook my onions at a low temperature to soften and caramelize them
When the water for the pasta is boiling, add two tablespoons of salt and the penne. Cook per directions on package. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water in case you need to thin out you ricotta sauce.
When the onion is ready, add the cooked and chopped spinach to the skillet and saute, stirring often for a few minutes. Add the ricotta, cream, and nutmeg, and cook, stirring, until the ricotta is heated through and the cream has reduced considerably. Taste and season accordingly with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
When the penne is done, drain it well, and toss it with the spinach and ricotta sauce and the parmigiana-reggiano. I pour the pasta into the pan with the sauce. You can mix it in another bowl. If the sauce still seems thick, add a little pasta water and stir. This is handy way of making a sauce creamier.
Serve at once. Simple and delicious.
Here is the original recipe.