Rotolo di spinaci

  • medium
  • 6–8
  • 1 hour 45 minutes

Our rotolo di spinaci recipe is perfect if you're after a bit of a showstopper to impress dinner party guests (plus it can be prepared in advance). Homemade pasta is covered with a delicious spinach and ricotta filling, rolled up in a clean tea towel and gently boiled then baked in tomato sauce. Use a vegetarian Parmesan substitute if catering for vegetarians.

First published in 2020





Tomato sauce


To serve


  • Pasta machine
  • White tea towel
  • Kitchen string


Begin by making the pasta. Place the flour on a clean surface and make a well in the centre. Place the eggs and yolk into the well and use a fork to stir, slowly incorporating the flour bit by bit. Once the egg and flour is combined, use your hands to bring together into a dough, then knead for 6 minutes. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour
Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Drizzle some olive oil into a pan and gently sweat the sliced garlic until soft but not coloured. Add the tins of tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, while you get on with the rest of the recipe
To make the spinach filling, wilt the spinach in a hot dry pan (you will need to work in batches.) Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the spinach to remove excess water then roughly chop
Mix the spinach with the ricotta, Parmesan and picked oregano leaves then flavour with nutmeg, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning until you're happy with the flavour
Once the dough has rested, use a pasta machine to roll it out to 1mm thick, starting at the widest setting and gradually working down to the thinnest. Cut the pasta in half, then use a rolling pin to flatten out a 1cm strip along 1 length of each piece of pasta. Brush a little water over the flattened edge and join up the two sheets to create a large, wide rectangle
You will be cooking the rotolo in a clean, white tea towel so ensure the pasta fits on the towel with a 5cm border. Trim the pasta down if needed
Spread the spinach filling in an even layer over the whole sheet, using a palette knife to create a flat surface
Roll up the rotolo, using the tea towel to help (like you would a Swiss roll). Start off with your hands to get a nice tight roll, then lift up the towel from the bottom and roll the pasta all the way up into a tight log
Wrap the log up tightly in the tea towel and use string or clingfilm to tie each end. You can add a few loops around the centre too if the towel is flapping open. Cook the rotolo in a large pan of salted boiling water for 15 minutes and preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Carefully remove the tea towel then slice the rotolo into 6–8 even slices
Transfer the tomato sauce to a large ovenproof dish and place the rotolo portions into the pan. Cover with plenty of grated Parmesan and heat in the oven for 10 minutes or until the Parmesan has melted
Garnish with basil leaves and serve up hot with salad and bread, or for a pasta course as part of a larger feast

GIC Kitchen is where you’ll find all the recipes from our very own team of Italian specialists.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.

You may also like

Load more