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Spinach Ricotta Pesto Shells

Made With


  • 1 pound medium pasta shells
  • 1 (14 ounce) bag fresh spinach, trimmed and washed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Dragone® Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted


In a large pot, cook the shells as directed on the package. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Then, rinse with hot water and drain. Return the shells to the pot.

In a large skillet, heat half of the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach and basil and cook, covered, for 2 minutes.

Uncover and cook, stirring, until no liquid remains, about 2 more minutes. Transfer the spinach-basil mixture to a food processor. Add the remaining oil, kosher salt, garlic powder and freshly ground pepper. Puree until smooth. Add the reserved pasta cooking liquid and continue blending.

Pour the spinach sauce over the pasta shells. Add 3/4 cup of the Dragone® Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese, Shredded Parmesan Cheese and lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Transfer to a platter. Dollup with the remaining 1/4 cup of the Dragone® Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese and toasted pine nuts.

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  • Total Time (Mins)

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