Shells with spinach, ricotta, and raisins

SmartPoints® value per serving
Total Time
25 min
7 min
18 min
In southern Italy, spinach, ricotta, and raisins are a popular trio. It’s one of those perfect combinations of taste and texture. The combination of rich ricotta, salty Parmesan and sweet raisins just get better when it’s tossed with this shell pasta that traps those savory little chunks of flavor. Rigatoni would also work well. This 30 minutes recipe is perfect for company as it is fast to assemble and features impressively complex flavor. Instead of the spinach, other steamed greens like broccoli or Swiss chard would also work beautifully.


Golden seedless raisins

¼ cup(s)

Olive oil

1 Tbsp

Uncooked onion(s)

1 medium, chopped

Chopped frozen spinach

10 oz, thawed and squeezed dry

Table salt

¼ tsp

Uncooked pasta

4 oz, medium shells (about 2 cups)

Part-skim ricotta cheese

¼ cup(s)

White pepper

tsp, freshly ground, or to taste

Grated Parmesan cheese

4 Tbsp, freshly grated


  1. Put the raisins in a small bowl of hot water until plump and soft, about 10 minutes; drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a medium nonstick skillet. Swirl in the oil, then add the onion. Sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes; reduce the heat to low. Stir in the spinach and salt; cook, stirring, until heated through. Set aside and keep warm.
  3. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the shells according to package directions. Drain and place in warmed serving bowl. Add the spinach mixture, the raisins, ricotta, and Parmesan cheese; toss to coat. Sprinkle with the pepper and serve at once. Yields 1 1/4 cups per serving.


This dish would have been forbidden in the early days of Weight Watchers, when raisins and pasta were not allowed!