Pasta with Spinach, Ricotta, Ham Recipe

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10 votes | 33736 views

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.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 6


Cost per serving $1.62 view details
  • 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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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 233g
Recipe makes 6 servings
Calories 432  
Calories from Fat 111 26%
Total Fat 12.65g 16%
Saturated Fat 6.9g 28%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 38mg 13%
Sodium 399mg 17%
Potassium 859mg 25%
Total Carbs 61.66g 16%
Dietary Fiber 4.8g 16%
Sugars 2.73g 2%
Protein 18.7g 30%



  • John Spottiswood
    March 12, 2008
    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.
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
    This is a variation
    1 person likes this review
    1 reply
    • March 6, 2011
      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
      March 12, 2008
      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!
      I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
      This is a variation
      2 people like this review
      • Brett Templeman
        October 17, 2008
        Jacki made this the other night, veggie style, with a ton of fresh spinach. It was great.
        I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
        • Sarah Easler
          August 12, 2010
          Update: LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!! One of our new faves. ;)
          I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
          • A. Henry
            August 28, 2012
            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.
            I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
            This is a variation
            • Denise Sherin
              June 27, 2014
              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!!
              I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
              This is a variation


              • Suzee Woods
                April 7, 2013

                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
                  December 20, 2012
                  I am definitely going to try this soon. It sounds wonderful and tasty. Can't wait to do this!
                  • Infinity
                    September 15, 2011
                    One I'll be trying for sure!
                    1 reply
                  • Sarah Easler
                    July 9, 2010
                    I'm trying to break out of my chicken habit...this sounds like a wonderful new ham recipe!!

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