Spinach and ricotta ravioli

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I absolutely adore pasta and I could eat it probably every day. It’s so versatile as you can fill ravioli with any ingredient and make a yummy little sauce to complement. This recipe is an easy one for homemade pasta and you don’t even need a pasta machine, yay! I will warn you though this is not a 15 minute meal, so allocate a good hour or so just to be safe. Spinach and ricotta is my favourite filling as the flavour combination is divine!

Ingredients

Pasta

  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 4 eggs

Filling

  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 bag baby spinach
  • salt and pepper

Dressing/sauce 

  • olive oil
  • pine nuts
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • parmesan cheese sprinkle
  • parsley to garnish

Serves 4

Method

Use your hands to shape the flour into a circular mound and make a well in the centre. Place the eggs in the well and use a fork to lightly whisk. Use your fingertips to gradually blend a little flour into the egg mixture. Working with your fingertips, continue to gradually draw the flour into the centre (being careful the egg mixture does not run out of the well) until the mixture forms a dough. To check if the dough is the right consistency, press a clean, dry finger into the centre of the dough. If it comes out clean without being sticky, it is the right consistency. If not, knead in a little more flour and test again.

Lightly flour the surface if necessary. Firmly knead the dough by using the heel of your hand to firmly push down into it and then away from you. Lift the dough with your fingertips and fold it back on itself towards you. Turn the dough a half turn and repeat. Continue kneading the dough for 6-7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. (Kneading is an important part of the pasta-making process as it develops the gluten in the flour, giving the pasta a firm, tender texture.) Wrap the dough in cling/plastic wrap and set aside for half an hour.

While the dough is resting it’s time to make the filling! Cook spinach in olive oil in a pan until wiltered then set aside to cool. Once spinach is around room temperature add the ricotta then mix and add salt & pepper to season.

Dust a clean surface with flour and start rolling the dough until quite thin (about 1.5 mm). Once the dough is at the consistency you are happy with then divide it into two sheets. With the first sheet of pasta start adding the spoonfuls of filling (make sure you spread this out and don’t add too much filling or the ravioli won’t hold).

Wet with water around the outside of each little filling on the pasta sheets and then cut around so there’s individual pasta mixture with fillings. With the second sheet of pasta cut to fit over the first sheet with filling and fork around the edge till they are stuck together.

Once the ravioli is made and looking firm then start boiling water. They should cook for about 20 minutes in the boiling water but the time varies so it is best to keep your eye on it.

While the pasta is cooking, lightly fry the pine nuts and chilli in oil.

Once the ravioli is cooked drizzle the oil, chilli and pine nut dressing then garnish with parsley. I can’t resist adding parmesan cheese too. Enjoy!

Healthy fact 

Spinach has an extremely high nutritional value and is rich in antioxidants. It is a good source of vitamins A, B2, C and K, and also contains magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium.

Happy cooking, love Jem x

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