Homemade ravioli with spinach and ricotta

  

Nothing beats that melt in the mouth beautiful fresh pasta taste. I know I’ve posted a spinach and ricotta ravioli recipe a couple of years back now but this is my “new and improved” and it’s damn delicious… As you can see from the above picture I don’t own a pasta rack so my washing line just had to do haha. This recipe is great for dinner parties or a weekend evening dish for your other half.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 4 eggs

Filling

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 800g ricotta cheese
  • 200g baby spinach
  • 2 egg yolks
  • salt and pepper

Sauce 

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 brown onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 jar passata
  • salt and pepper

Serves 6

Method

To make the dough 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. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and set aside for an hour.

To make the filling heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the spinach and toss for 1-2 minutes or just until wilted, then drain well. When the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze out as much water as possible. Finely chop the spinach, then place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the passata, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the passata, salt and pepper and simmer. Reheat just before serving.

Divide the pasta dough into 4 portions, then working with one piece at a time flatten the dough firmly with the heel of your hand on a lightly floured work surface. Roll the pasta several times through the widest setting on a pasta machine and continue feeding it through reducing the settings one notch at time until you come to the second last setting. The pasta should feel silky and smooth. Use a wine glass to cut even circular shapes in the dough.

Start adding a teaspoon of filling to each circle of dough (making sure you don’t add too much filling or the ravioli won’t hold). Wet the outside with a little bit of egg so the dough sticks together. Place another circle dough on the top and press the sides then fork around the edge until the pasta is firmly stuck together.

To cook, carefully drop the ravioli into a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes or until al dente, then pour into a colander and drain well. Transfer the ravioli to a large serving dish, spoon over the hot passata, and top with grated Parmesan. ONE WORD: YUM!

Happy cooking, love Jem x

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Simply great tuna pasta

One of my favourite dinner dishes has to be my simply great tuna pasta! After getting home from a long day at work the last thing I feel like doing is spending hours in the kitchen – this little meal is simple to make, delicious, rather healthy, contains pantry stable ingredients and there’s always left overs! Since moving out I’m all about those leftovers…and damn somehow they always taste better the next day? Tuna, olives, garlic, tomato and you’ve got yourself a winner dish – well in my case I think so! The flavour combination is great, and it literally takes about 20 minutes to make tops. I normally put in a couple of anchovies too (cut really fine) for that extra delicious salty flavour.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spiral pasta
  • 2 large cans of tuna in springwater, drained
  • 1 can tinned tomato
  • 1 brown onion, cut finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons black olives
  • 2 tsp chili
  • handful fresh coriander
  • salt & pepper to season

Serves 3

Method

Cook the pasta in a large pot with salt, then drain once Al dente.

Fry the onion and garlic lightly in a medium saucepan. Add the tuna, tomato, olives, chili and then stir. Tear in the coriander and season with salt and pepper.

Dish up the pasta with the tuna sauce and garnish with fresh herbs. Enjoy!

Happy cooking, love Jem x

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