Contorni: Veggies, Salads, Potatoes Italian Regional Recipes

Sweet & Savoury Stir-fried Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts

This spinach dish will surprise you with its smooth, buttery flavour and the layered texture of the raisins and the pine nuts. Simple to prepare, but with great character, it’s an amazing side for some pilaf rice or some braised beef.

The recipe we propose you is from Lombardy; the use of butter instead of olive oil is characteristic of the northern Italian regions, such as Piedmont, Aosta Valley, Trentino-South Tyrol, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia.

A similar dish is also prepared in Liguria, where some anchovies are added to the pan whilst stir-frying the spinach. In Lazio, olive oil is preferred to butter and some garlic gives the spinach a less mellow flavour.

Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 10 mins

  • Spinach, fresh: 900 g
  • Butter, unsalted: 60 g
  • Raisins: 50 g
  • Pine nuts: 30 g
  • Nutmeg: ¼ tsp
  • Salt: to taste


Soak the raisins in a bowl of lukewarm water and leave them to rehydrate for about 20 minutes; once they’re ready, squeeze them and use a clean kitchen cloth to dry them.

Toast the pine nuts in a pan, without adding any fat. Set aside both the raisins and the pine nuts.

Rinse the spinach and roughly dry them with a kitchen towel to get rid of most of the water. Melt the butter in a pan and stir-fry the spinach for 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste.

Tip: When stir-frying the spinach, don’t add any water, or the leaves will become soggy instead of crispy.

Add the raisins, the pine nuts and the nutmeg to the spinach in the pan and sauté all the ingredients together for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

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