Creamy Spinach and Ricotta Raviolo
This simple and delicious pasta dish is great for any time of the week! Raviolo, compared to ravioli, is just one single parcel of pasta with a filling, and usually a larger version of ravioli too! - and in this case, bigger is definitely better!!
For the pasta dough:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon cold water
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups of type 00 white flour, plus more for dusting
For the pasta filling:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large bunch of spinach, washed and roughly chopped
1 brown onion finely diced
1 garlic clove
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 cup (250grams) of smooth ricotta
zest of 1 lemon, plus a tablespoon of juice
1 teaspoon of honey
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the creamy pasta sauce:
150 grams of butter, chopped
salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
125 grams of Parmigiano-Reggiano (or good quality parmesan), finely grated
1/2 cup of smooth ricotta
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes, or to taste
To make the pasta filling:
In a large saucepan or shallow dutch oven add oil, onion, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent. Add the spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes or until wilted. Set aside to cool.
In a blender add the spinach mixture and juice of lemon. Give it a quick blend until a smooth paste forms.
In a medium mixing bowl add spinach paste, ricotta, some more thyme, lemon zest, honey, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly then set aside until you're ready to fill you pasta.
To make the pasta dough:
In a mixing bowl add flour, salt, eggs and oil. Mix with your hands until the dough comes together. If your dough seems too crumbly, or its not holding together well, add the cold water.
Flour a chopping board and place dough on it. Knead the dough (for no more than 2 minutes) to form a ball. Flatten the dough so it is about 10 cms thick and then tightly wrap in cling wrap. Set this aside for at least an hour and a half so the dough relaxes.
Set up a pasta machine, and divide dough into 4 equal pieces. One at a time (wrap up rest of dough while you work on one piece) roll it out with a rolling pin until 4 cms thick. Next work the dough through the pasta machine on the various thickness settings, until you have a long piece of pasta that is paper thin.
Once the pasta sheets are rolled out dust thoroughly with semolina or flour to prevent them from drying out. Lay each pasta sheet out horizontally in front of you. Place teaspoonfuls of filling along the bottom half of the pasta sheet, about an inch and a half apart. Brush the upper edge of the pasta with water and fold it towards you, covering the filling and pressing around it to remove any air. Then use a pasta/ ravioli cutter or knife to cut out the ravioli. Set aside until ready to cook.
To make the sauce and assembly:
In a shallow dutch oven or large saucepan on medium - high heat add butter, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the butter foams and then browns. Reduce temperature to low then add the chilli flakes and smooth ricotta. Stir well until thoroughly mixed.
In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the raviolos stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes (Or until they float to the top). Take one raviolo out and test for doneness.
After approximately 5 minutes, remove pasta from the water and using a slotted spoon add them to the saucepan with the ricotta sauce. Add 1 ladleful of the pasta water, and the parmesan, and gently stir (or toss) until the parmesan is melted and sauce is creamy, glossy and emulsified.
Serve raviolos in pasta bowls seasoned with more cracked pepper, and parmesan. Please enjoy!
Notes: If the pasta sauce looks too tight, add some more pasta water. If it is too thin you can add some more cheese or continue stirring for another minute (it will continue thickening as it cooks).