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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli | You've Got Meal!

This is our first ravioli making experience, so we wanted to cook something on the easy side, but also a well known dish, so we went for safe and picked the spinach and ricotta recipe. 

We used 4 sheets of pasta dough, about 40 cm long and 6 cm wide, enough to make around 20 pieces of ravioli. 

For the filling: 
  • 200 grams of fresh spinach leaves- hard stems removed, 
  • 130-150 grams of ricotta, 
  • 4-5 tbs. of parmesan, 
  • nutmeg, 
  • salt and pepper. 

We also made a fresh tomato and basil sauce using: 
  • 1 can of whole tomatoes, 
  • 300 grams of passata, 
  • 3 garlic cloves, 
  • 2 tsp. of dried basil leaves, 
  • salt, pepper, 
  • cloves, 
  • olive oil. 

  1. Start of by making the dough for the pasta -  as usual, we used 200 grams of plain flour and 2 free range eggs, resulting the sheets of pasta described above. 
  2. While the dough rests, awaiting to be rolled, cook the spinach in a couple tbs. of olive oil for 2 minutes, enough for the greens to melt. 
  3. Remove the spinach from heat, dripping any excess of juices that remained in the pan – those will make the filling way too runny and most likely cause the ravioli to open while cooking. You can choose to leave the spinach leaves whole, finely chop them or just coarsely break them, take your pick. 
  4. After the spinach cools for some minutes, mix them well with the ricotta, nutmeg, salt, pepper and about 4-5 tbs. of Parmesan. 
  5. You can either cut the ravioli pasta pieces before putting in the filling or you can spread lumps of the spinach&ricotta mix on the sheet of pasta, and then cut it. Use a beaten egg to brush the edges of the pasta so that the pasta sticks -  you can also use a fork to press the edges of the ravioli, but make sure to remove the air from inside before. 
  6. The ravioli cook fast enough in the salted boiling water, about 4 minutes. 
  7. When removing them from the water lightly drizzle them with olive oil to make sure they don’t stick.

The sauce keeps the same super easy line of cooking – on medium heat, bring to a boil the canned tomatoes (use a wooden spoon to break them in the pot), 300 ml of tomato passata, the finely sliced garlic cloves, the basil, salt, pepper, 2-3 whole cloves, and cook until the liquid is reduced to about two thirds. Next, push the sauce through a fine sieve (don’t forget the garlic slices, they will be soft enough to be pushed through) in order to create a smooth, light tomato and basil sauce. 

That’s it really incredibly easy to make ravioli, accompanied by an light and elegant sauce that will complement the pasta perfectly. Garnish with some fennel leaves or basil or parsley, grate some Parmesan on top and you are done.


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