Pasta with Beef, Spinach and Ricotta; Tangier

I’m one of those people that shops with a list.

I plan the menu for the week, make my list, check the fridge, freezer and pantry, then go to the market / supermarket.

I rarely buy anything that’s not on the list – unless there is a note on said list to pick-up something interesting from the deli counter. And I very, very rarely forget anything.

I will place the blame on the family. They’re all back across the pond and can’t argue. But I did the shopping after taking them to the airport.

I forgot to buy the dog treats.that I use for our daily walks. They were not on the list. I had not checked the dog-treat cupboard. Fortunately, I had enough other treats that we managed to make it through the week without undue trauma.

And I bought ricotta cheese.

In fairness to me it was on my list…. but there was no planned use for it that I could remember, None of the dishes on the menu needed ricotta. Apparently (this is where the ‘blame the family’ comes in) I was interrupted mid-thought and never finished it (the thought).

I had to get creative…..

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Pasta with Beef, Spinach and Ricotta

This is an easy skillet dinner with a creamy ricotta / tomato sauce. I used rotelle pasta.

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta


  • 12oz (360gr) ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 3/4 cups (15oz, 450gr) whole tomatoes, peeled, chopped, juices reserved
  • 8oz (250gr) frozen spinach, chopped, no sauce, not thawed
  • 8oz (250gr) ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp celery or regular salt
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups (4.1oz, 125gr) pasta – penne, rigatoni, rotelle


  • Cook pasta according to package directions. 
  • Heat olive oil in large non-stick skillet. 
  • Add onions and sauté until tender, 7 – 8 minutes. 
  • Add garlic, chili powder, paprika and sauté briefly.
  • Add beef and sauté, breaking it up as it browns. 
  • Add the tomatoes, spinach to the skillet and simmer, uncovered until spinach is thawed. 
  • If there is a lot of liquid increase heat and cook down a bit. 
  • When pasta is done, drain and add to skillet. 
  • Add ricotta and stir until everything is well combined and hot.
  • Serve from skillet.


If your spinach is whole, thaw it partially in the microwave, then roughly chop or slice before adding to the skillet.
Some of the prep is done while the onions are cooking.

Keywords: pasta, beef, spinach, ricotto

Pasta with Beef, Spinach and Ricotta

One of the reasons we went back to Morocco for our family reunion is that we would be able to rent an entire riad just for us.

A riad is like a bed and breakfast. They are normally small, 6 – 12 rooms, and are located in the medina or old part of the city. The riad we rented, Dar Souan, had 8 rooms which was perfect for us. They were happy to let us have a bit of space in their refrigerator for beer and wine and we even got to use the washing machine.

This is the view looking down from the 2nd floor:

The center was open to the sky-lights on the roof.

This is looking up:

Most of our time at the riad was spent on the roof:

Yes, that is our mess on the table…. Breakfast was served in the little area behind the brown screens. They also made dinner for us on 3 different nights – that will be another post (It was fantastic).

This is the view looking over the city:

Tangier is where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean – and we could almost see it from our rooftop. We could see the Atlantic…..

The street in front of our riad was narrow… as in 3 people could walk abreast but not 4.

Two streets over, however the medina opened up into a pedestrian thoroughfare. We were at a restaurant on the first floor looking over the street.

At the opposite end of this street was modern Tangier.

More on Tangier next time – we took a walking tour of the medina (old part).

5 thoughts on “Pasta with Beef, Spinach and Ricotta; Tangier”

  1. I shop like you do, but I do 2 weeks at a time, picking up fresh fruits and veggies on the weekend!

    Nice to know I”m not alone!!

  2. Gorgeous photos! Very narrow street though with lots of people. I might have a difficult time with that. The older I get, the less I like crowds. 🙁

    I make a similar dish to the one you posted. It’s pretty forgiving and always great in a pinch, but hubs doesn’t like ricotta so I do use other cheeses. But they’re tasty and quick regardless of the cheese.

    Happy Halloween!

    • I’m okay with crowds – but I find I’m not liking tight, enclosed spaces so much anymore lol
      I normally just use ricotta in stuff like lasagne, but I had it so….

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