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Spinach and Ricotta with Shells

May 2009
Spinach and Ricotta with Shells

by 20 people

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This is a dish Steve's wife, Michelle, adapted from a recipe by Italian cookbook author Marcella Hazan. "My kids and I crave it on a year-round basis," he says. "Michelle loves to use Italian sheep's milk or water buffalo milk ricotta, but when it's unavailable at my cheese counter, she doesn't hesitate to use plain old supermarket ricotta."

Makes: 6 servings

Prep: 10 mins

Cook: 15 mins

Ingredients
  • 1 pound small pasta shells, such as conchiglie
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound baby spinach
  • 1 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese, preferably fresh
  • 3/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
Directions
  1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain and return to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat; add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach by the handful and cook, stirring, until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add the spinach mixture, ricotta and 3/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano to the pasta and toss. Serve immediately with more parmigiano-reggiano.