After recently making a batch of fresh pasta I thought I’d have a go at making some ravioli with a spinach and ricotta filling. When making ravioli at home you can either use molds to get perfectly shaped ravioli or you can simply spoon dollops of filling intermittently along a fresh sheet of pasta, fold the pasta sheet over, seal it and then cut it using a pastry cutter. I’m all for rustic looking food and using as little utensils as possible so I’ll be describing the latter method in this recipe. And as you can see below, they don’t look too shabby at all!
In regards to the filling, I’d recommend choosing a bunch of fresh spinach with smallish leaves as they’ll be more tender. Go to your local deli and buy fresh ricotta that’s cut straight from the round; it’s a bit drier than ricotta from a tub and tastes a lot better in my opinion. If you buy ricotta in a tub make sure that you drain away as much of the liquid as possible. If possible, freshly grate your Parmesan cheese and nutmeg and grind your black pepper for the filling; your ravioli will taste much better if you do.
Before you get started you’ll also need a pastry cutter, a pastry brush and a small bowl of cold water. It’s important to work quickly so that your pasta sheets don’t dry out (ideally, have your filling prepared and covered in the fridge before you start rolling out your pasta sheets).
These ravioli are typically served with a sage and butter sauce but a simple tomato and herb sauce would also be nice. They taste so much better than bought ravioli and really aren’t that hard to make so I’d highly recommend giving this recipe a go!
This quantity serves 6-8 people
1 quantity of fresh pasta, rolled out to the narrowest setting
1 bunch fresh spinach (approximately 800g), bottom of stalks chopped off
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
350g ricotta (freshly cut from a round at your local deli)
1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1 large free-range egg
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
A pinch of salt
A pinch of grated nutmeg
1. Thoroughly wash the spinach in your sink with cold water at least 2-3 times to remove any dirt.
2. Briefly heat the oil and garlic in a fry pan over a medium heat, then add the freshly washed spinach and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Don’t worry if your pan is overflowing as the spinach will start to wilt in a minute or so.
3. Turn the spinach with a spatula once the leaves at the bottom start to wilt and taste it after 3-4 minutes to see if it’s cooked. Once it is, remove from the heat and allow to cool down.
4. Using your hands, wring as much water as possible out of the cooled spinach and then place it on a clean chopping board. Chop it up as finely as possible.
5. In a large bowl, add the ricotta and mash it with a fork. Then add the chopped spinach, egg, Parmesan cheese, a pinch of freshly-grated nutmeg and freshly-ground pepper to taste. Mix it all together until all the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the filling.
6. Lay out a sheet of fresh pasta on a floured work surface. Place spoonfuls of the mixture along the sheet at 5 cm intervals, about one-third in from the edge of the sheet.
7. Now lightly dip your pastry brush in the bowl of cold water and use it to brush the edges of the pasta sheet and around each dollop of filling.
8. Fold over the wider part of the pasta sheet and seal the edges by firmly pressing down along the edge with your fingers.
9. Now press down on the pasta in between the dollops of filling to help individually seal the ravioli.
10. Using a pastry cutter, cut between each dollop of filling to make individual ravioli.
11. Now turn your ravioli clockwise and cut along the top edge of the ravioli with your pastry cutter. Then press around the filling with your fingers to ensure they’re sealed and to get rid of any air bubbles.
12. Once you’ve cut all the ravioli, place them on a lightly-floured tray.
13. Repeat the above process with the remaining pasta sheets and filling.
14. Cook the ravioli immediately in small batches in a saucepan of salted boiling water. Fresh pasta cooks a lot faster than dry pasta so taste them after about 5 minutes to see if they’re done. As you can see below, they hold their shape really well when cooked (if you over cook them the filling will seep out). Take them out with a slotted spoon and toss them in a sauce of your choice, then serve immediately.
*If you’d like to use this recipe, please reference this blog- thank you!