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Under 30 Minutes

Penne with Ricotta and Pine Nuts

In this one-pot dish, the spinach cooks right in the pot with the pasta. Spoon ricotta onto each serving, and let your guests mix it up themselves.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6
Penne with Ricotta and Pine Nuts

Source: Everyday Food, March 2004


  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 1/2 pounds baby spinach, well washed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven, tossing occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes; set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook according to manufacturer's directions. Add spinach during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain; return pasta and spinach to pot. Add oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Toss well.

  3. Serve immediately, topped with ricotta, pine nuts, and Parmesan.

Reviews (19)

  • shabo 7 Sep, 2012

    This was delicious. From reading other reviews, I agree that the flavor was lacking a bit, so added in some italian seasoning, lemon pepper and nutmeg (as suggested) made the dish perfect. I also added the italian seasoning and a touch of nutmeg to the ricotta to make even more flavorful.

  • Eviebelle 20 Sep, 2011

    This is one of my favorite dishes ever. It's totally delicious and easy to make. The only problem is that I keep going back for more. And more. And more.

  • Naomi9 11 Sep, 2011

    So easy and delicious! Prepared just as directed. Very finicky fiancee loved it.

  • CarmelinaCAN 2 Feb, 2011

    quicky and tasty! yum!

  • dayersr87 10 Jun, 2010

    I found a good source for pine nuts there are American ORGANIC grown they are superb in-shell raw or shelled raw there web sight is a simple comment to let you know you don?

  • klorrain 25 Apr, 2010

    liked this recipe as is, but made it for the second time tonight with a couple changes... sauteed zucchini and spinach. it was tasty and i will try it again, maybe with different veggies.

  • tyeann 20 Apr, 2010

    Why not try not drowning everything in garlic. There are other herbs and spices.Sounds like the same group with the mashed potatoes that are nothing but garlic. Yuck!

  • voicemom1 15 Apr, 2010

    Changed the ricotta to 1/2 cup of goat chesee and added a touch of garlic. Pretty good!

  • smd1227 4 Jan, 2010

    I agree with turtlegrins. This had the potential to be bland, so I sauteed the spinach in some olive oil and garlic. Then I took a couple cubes of pesto out of the freezer and tossed them into the cooked pasta. It made all the difference in the world.

  • liannasr 22 Feb, 2009

    I made this dish this last week and loved it. However, I did change it up a bit. I added smashed garlic cloves to the pasta water. I, also, grated about 1/2 tsp of fresh nutmeg into the drained pasta. Quite yummy and will makes it again with these changes.

  • turtlegrins 17 Feb, 2009

    I realize it changes it into a different meal entirely, but before returning the pasta and spinach to the pot, try simmering 2 T pesto until fragrant. Then add the pasta, spinach

  • porter081081 14 Feb, 2009

    I made this dish tonight. It looked great and I had high expectations. Unfortunately, it fell short. It was extremely bland. I actually added garlic. I boiled some in the water with the pasta and I also toasted some with the pine nuts. That didn't do enough to make this dish worth making again. Sorry Martha, you got a thumbs up for appearance but a thumbs down for taste on this one.

  • claudeng 11 Feb, 2009

    I also made it today with multi-grain pasta and added a few pressed garlic cloves for added flavor. Light and nutty!

  • Gailmarie06 10 Feb, 2009

    easy and YUMMY esp. with a whole wheet pasta :)

  • goforward 10 Feb, 2009

    It looks wonderful! Plan on making it tonight, I have to watch my weight, Is there anywhere to look for the calories per serving?
    Thank You!

  • SarahAA 10 Feb, 2009

    This is also good with a couple of tablespoons of pesto mixed in. I found the dish bland without it.

  • bigcat 10 Feb, 2009

    I a m going to make this tonight. However, I am going to poach some chicken and add the ricotta into the pot., it doesn't get cold.

  • jamwinters 6 Apr, 2008

    I make this with whole wheat pasta. I really like it but you have to get it on the table fast because the ricotta cools the dish down quickly.

  • roccocooks 6 Feb, 2008

    bland needs garlic

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