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Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Spinach and Meatballs

  • Author: Nicole Triebe
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: Italian


16 oz Carando® Abruzzese Italian Meatballs

8oz pasta linguine

9oz Galbani whole-milk ricotta

8 oz fresh baby spinach, washed

1/2 cup, divided grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve

1 lemon, zest and juice

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, grated or pressed

¼ cup pine nuts (optional)

salt and black pepper, to taste


Bring a large stock pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook 6-8 minutes.  Before draining, reserve ½ cup of the pasta water.  

While the pasta is cooking, In a small bowl, combine Galbani Whole Milk ricotta, minced garlic, lemon juice and zest, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

In a saute pan over medium heat, add a little olive oil. Carefully place the Carando Italian Meatballs in the hot skillet and sear the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip and swear the meatballs on the other side for 2 minutes, or until browned.

Then lower the heat to medium and cook the meatballs, flipping occasionally, until internal temperature reaches 160 F, about 10-20 minutes.

Remove the meatballs from the skillet and set aside.

Next reserve about a 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and place in the skillet that the meatballs were cooked in.

Add the ricotta mixture to the pasta and toss to combine, adding a little of the reserved pasta water. This will not only add flavor, but the starch from the pasta water will help glue the pasta and sauce together.

Add the fresh spinach and toss until wilted.

Toss in remaining ¼ cup parmesan! Plate and serve with cooked Carando Italian meatballs and pine nuts.