Thursday, 22 August 2013

Herb and Ricotta Ravioli

This recipe is for my friends Mary Ann and Gina who think making pasta is too difficult. It does take a bit of time but, honestly the effort is so worth it when you enjoy these delicious little pasta pillows filled with ricotta ad herbs and served simply with some olive oil, a handful of pine nuts, a sprinkle of spinach and finally a fresh grating of Parmesano Reggiano!! Come on you know you want to eat this!!

You will need:
  • 500 grams of ricotta - drained for 1-2 hours in fridge
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat parsley (Italian parsley)
  • 1 clove garlic - crushed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour (all purpose or 00)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3-4 tbsp exceptional olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced thinly
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • fresh grated Parmesan

Step 1: drain your ricotta for 1-2 hours in the fridge. Discard liquid.

Step 2: place ricotta in a large bowl. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, chopped herbs (makes about 1/4 cup once chopped) garlic and egg yolk.

Step 3: grate Parmesan and add to bowl with breadcrumbs and freshly grated nutmeg. Stir to combine. If you find it too wet add a bit more Parmesan or breadcrumbs. You don't want the filling too wet. Place in fridge while you make pasta.

sorry terrible picture!

Step 4: in a food processor add eggs, flour, olive oil and salt. Process until it just starts to turn into a ball (less than 1 minute)  Remove and knead with your hands to form a ball. Cover in plastic and let rest for at least 1 hour on counter.

Step 5: sprinkle some flour over your dough and cut into 4 pieces, then each of those into half so that you have 8 equal pieces of dough. Flatten each piece in some flour and then roll out 2 pieces at the time. Leave the others under your plastic wrap.

Step 6: roll out 2 sheets.  I use an attachment on my KitchenAid mixer but you can use a crank roller or even a rolling pin. I get my sheets to number 6 which is a few from the end. I don't want them so thin that the sheets will tear while cooking and fall apart.

Step 7: place a small teaspoon of filling on one sheet leaving room so that you can cut out your ravioli with a cookie cutter or even a glass or cup. I take a small cup and fill with water and dip my finger in the water and run a wet edge around the area to be sealed on each ravioli. I then place the second sheet on top and carefully seal allowing all the excess air out before making the final seal. I do this around each ravioli using my fingers and also the base of my palm. Once sealed I use the cutter to cut out ravioli. Place them on a floured cookie sheet, coating each in flour. I will take all the extra ravioli and freeze on the cookie sheet and then once frozen toss in a Ziploc bag.

Step 8: to prepare either fresh or frozen. Add to salted boiling water. Allow the ravioli to float the the top and then cook 1-2 more minutes. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon and place directly into your pan.

Step 9: in a hot pan add exceptional extra virgin olive oil along with 2 sliced garlic cloves,  a handful of pine nuts and spinach. Cook on medium heat for a minute or two. Add your ravioli and cook another minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with another fresh drizzle of good olive oil and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


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