Spinach ricotta is an interesting combination of the Italian cheese (a cheese specifically suited for casein intolerants made from the milk of cow, goat sheep or buffalo) and spinach. The spinach- ricotta combination is used in a wide range of dishes starting from quiches, pies, rolls and casseroles to lasagna, pasta, cannelloni and gnocchi, to name but just a few.
Generally, most recipes recommend cooking the spinach, and then, seasoning it. The spinach is then, combined with ricotta, which is mostly recommended to be used fresh and in crumbled form. Some recipes also suggest using the spinach raw. While the use of the cheese makes the dish likely to be of Italian origin, the fact is still highly debatable as the dish finds great popularity in the Mexican cuisine as well. and is also, much eaten in rest of America.
Popular Methods of Making Spinach Ricotta
Lemon Spinach with Ricotta Cheese – This recipe commands the use of fresh buffalo ricotta for the dish. The spinach is stir-fried in olive oil, mixed with lemon juice and seasoned with salt and pepper. Finally, it is plated and served with a topping of crumbled ricotta.
Spinach and Ricotta Rolls – Much popular amongst the children, this quick and easy dish, often made with leftovers, is best served with salad. For making these kids’ lunch box rolls, a mixture of spinach, fresh ricotta, shallot slices, and salt and pepper seasoning are spooned over quarter pastry sheets. The sheets are then rolled as sausages and baked.
Ricotta Spinach Pie – For this classic pie, the spinach is cooked in butter with onions, nutmeg, salt and pepper, and is then, mixed with mozzarella, Parmesan, ricotta and eggs. This cheese mixture is spooned into a pie crust and baked.
Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna – A cheese sauce for this lasagna is first made by cooking together milk, butter, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. The spinach is prepared by chopping and mixing it with some of the cheese sauce, nutmeg, salt and pepper and ricotta. Some of the mixture is then layered at the bottom of a baking container and covered with mozzarella and more cheese sauce. It is in turn, layered with the lasagna sheets. The layers are repeated, with the topmost layer consisting of the sauce and parmesan cheese. This is baked and served with a tomato herb sauce, accompanied by crusty bread.
Ricotta-Spinach Tacos – The spinach for this dish is cooked with onion, chiles, cumin, garlic and salt, and placed on warm tortillas. The spinach is then, topped with a mixture of ricotta, garlic, salt and cilantro. A final topping of Salsa verde is added and the tortillas are folded, ready to be served.
Ricotta Spinach Cannelloni – This dish comprises sauced and baked cannelloni pasta stuffed with a ricotta and spinach mixture. The filling is made of ricotta and parmesan cheeses, spinach and eggs. Bechamel and Napoli sauces are poured over the pasta. The béchamel sauce is prepared by cooking together butter, garlic, flour, milk, Parmesan and spice. The Napoli sauce is cooked using olive oil, carrot, celery, parsley, tomatoes and basil. Then, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, spinach and seasonings are mixed together and stuffed into the cannelloni tubes. The tubes are placed inside a buttered baking tray and the sauces are poured over them and the cannelloni is baked.