Spinach & Ricotta Rotolo

Spinach & Ricotta Rotolo

Spinach & Ricotta Rotolo, this classic Italian dish from Theo Randall transforms homemade pasta into something special. If you have at least 2 hour and a half time available for cooking then it’s enough to prepare what you’ll love the most. The ingredients mentioned below are what is required for 4-6 serves.



  • 1kg spinach
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tsp chopped marjoram or oregano
  • 500g ricotta
  • 50g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated, plus a little extra to serve
  • ½ quantity Theo’s pasta dough (see tip below)
  • good-quality olive oil, for drizzling

For the simple tomato sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

You will need a pasta machine

Cooking method

Begin by making the Simple tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the garlic clove and cook until just softened. Add the chopped tomatoes and season. Cook slowly for 25 mins, stirring now and then, until very thick. Do this a day or two ahead of assembling the rotolo, or freeze it for up to 2 months.

Wilt the spinach in a pan over a medium heat, then leave to cool. Squeeze well to remove the excess water, then roughly chop the spinach. Season and leave to cool completely.

Gently fry the garlic in the butter until softened, then remove from the heat and add the marjoram. Tip into a bowl and add the spinach, ricotta and Parmesan.

Roll out the pasta. Cut the sheets into 3 or 4 pieces, each roughly 40cm long, and place them on a white tea towel. Using a little water and a pastry brush, stick the sheets together, allowing a 1cm overlap.

Using a spatula, spread the filling over the pasta as evenly as possible, leaving a 1 cm border around the edge.

Fold over the edge of the pasta nearest to you and, using the tea towel and the weight of the pasta, roll it away from you like you would a Swiss roll.

Brush the open edge of the pasta with a little water and press together to seal.

Wrap the pasta roll tightly in the tea towel and tie a piece of string round it every 10 cm or so. Tie the ends with string to secure them, leaving a long piece of string at each end to act as a handle.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. A fish kettle is ideal, but a deep roasting tin filled with water works well too and cook the rotolo for 20 mins. Remove from the water and leave to cool. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.

Gently unwrap the rotolo and cut it into 3 cm slices. Arrange the slices in a baking dish. Spoon over the Simple tomato sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake for 15 mins until the pasta is hot and crisping around the edges.

Recipe source: BBC GoodFood Magazine

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