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Pasta Rotolo with Spinach and Ricotta

6 to 8 Servings

3½ hours 1½ hours active

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Rotolo di ricotta e spinaci—or ricotta and spinach roll—is a rolled lasagna-like dish that resembles slices of jelly roll. We learned to make it in Rome from Annamaria Moretti, owner of the shop Pasta all’Uovo. The dish typically is prepared with homemade sheets of pasta, but after a bit of trial and error we found we could layer strips of store-bought “oven-ready” lasagna noodles (look for 7-by-3½-inch noodles; we like those made by Barilla and Ronzoni) to create sheets. Though intended to be used dry, we cook them briefly so they soften enough to roll around the cheese and spinach filling. For make-ahead convenience, the rolls can be frozen overnight, then thawed for 10 minutes until soft enough to slice and bake. (If freezing overnight, be sure to also refrigerate the reserved pasta water that’s added to the tomatoes for making the sauce.)

6 to 8



Don’t allow the water to return to a boil after adding the lasagna noodles or they may tear. Immediately turn the heat to low. And be sure to stir as they soften, which will prevent them from sticking together. An 8- or 9-ounce box will include more noodles than are needed for the recipe, so you will have a few extra noodles in case a few break or tear.

3½ hours

1½ hours active


  • 1

    pound bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed

  • 2

    15- or 16-ounce containers whole-milk ricotta cheese


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Melissa M.
May 16, 2024
Nice variation of lasagna
These look complicated and fidly to make - but were surprisingly easy and very tasty. I had enough filling and pasta sheets for 6 rolls - so froze one to make later as a solo meal (couldn't fit any more into my 9x13 baking pan). The filling and pasta sauce were both really good and leftovers were great the next evening. I will definitely make this recipe again.
Arlene H.
May 14, 2024
Amazing dish...worth the extra work
I used fresh spinach and my homemade ricotta. I squeezed them in a clean tea towel to remove maximum water. I then softened the pasta sheets in the spinach water and the sauce is the best!
Jackie C.
December 18, 2023
A big hit
This was delicious but it required a considerable amount of time to make. I boiled the noodles two at a time and they required 31/2 to 4 mins to get them to an elasticity that allowed crack-free rolling. I was careful to drain the spinach and ricotta as much as possible for the filling. Good advice. The only change I would make next time is to make double the tomato sauce. This recipe does not make enough...expecially since I was able to make 7 rolls (rotoli) instead of 5.
Susan L.
December 26, 2023
Now that I have the recipe I'll do it again, without cobbling together what I heard, and other Rotolo recipes. The only thing that I disliked was I think that the lasagna was too thick...I used the ready to cook, and I found it took about the usual time to cook so I could roll it...12 minutes. I'll try harder to find anything that doesn't come in a box, next time, maybe I'll even resort to making my own...that should be funny, as the only way I've seen it done was on a flour filled countertop with eggs thrown in and mixed by hand, and I don't work that way.
Diana L.
October 18, 2023
This was pretty good
This lasagna recipe was easy and delicious. I used Rao’s Marinara sauce, which is very tasty, and no-boil lasagna sheets, which saved me some time. I skipped the egg (forgot) and basil (I did not have it), but it didn’t affect the flavor. I have added mushrooms. The only thing I would suggest is to make sure the sauce is almost to edges of the rolls, or sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top, to prevent them from drying out and becoming crunchy. Otherwise, it was a great dish that I would make again.