I have been trying to make some of the recipes from my collection of Cooks Illustrated magazines. Over the years, I have mostly read them but since time was often scarce, I didn’t try too many of them. Now that I have more time, I am pulling them out and seeing what recipes sound interesting. Tonight I made Farfalle with Ricotta and Spinach that was printed int he May-June 2014 issue. I cut back on the quantity since I was only making enough for Paula and myself. Here is what you will need if you want to try it for you and someone else:

  • 6 ounces of ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces of farfalle
  • 8 ounces of chopped baby spinach
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne
  • 1 ounce of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce (1/4 cup) of grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Whisk 3 ounces of the ricotta, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
  2. Bring water to a boil. Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon of salt and cook until the pasta is al dente. Reserve 1/1 cup of the cooking water. Stir the spinach into the pot with the pasta and cook until wilted, about 30 seconds. Drain pasta and spinach and return to the pot.
  3. Wile the pasta cooks, heat remaining tablespoon of oil, garlic, nutmeg and cayenne in a saucepan over medium heat until fragrant. This should take about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the remaining 3 ounces of ricotta, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt until smooth.
  4. Add the ricotta mixture-cream mixture and Parmesan to the pasta and toss to combine. Let pasta rest, tossing frequently, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Adjust consistency with the pasta water as needed.
  5. Transfer the pasta mixture to a serving platter and dot with the ricotta mixture that was made in step one and serve.