After buying my own pasta machine last weekend, I’m sure the novelty of owning one won’t wear off! It has provided me with a new lease of creativity in the kitchen and I’m looking forward to creating more recipes involving its use. In my excitement post-purchase, I decided to make Fresh Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli – a well-known dish for its delicious simplicity. This recipe uses two main tools: the pasta machine and a biscuit cutter. There may be a better method for producing the ravioli parcels depending on the tools you have at hand. I believe you can purchase ravioli cutters, but if you’re like me and don’t own one of them then using a biscuit cutter provides an alternative method. This is a three-part recipe which first outlines the ingredients and method for the Fresh Egg Pasta, Spinach & Ricotta mix, and Tomato & Garlic Pasta Sauce. I’ve then provided the main method at the bottom of how you put everything together. This recipe serves three, based on the premise that 100g flour + 1 egg = 1 pasta serving. Therefore, if you’re cooking for more or less, you can alter the overall measurements slightly. Have fun pasta making!
Prep Time: 2 - 3 hours | Cooking Time: 10 mins | Serves: 3
Fresh Egg Pasta
300g plain flour
3 Large eggs
Pinch of salt
Ensure your hands are clean and that you have a large surface area for making the fresh pasta (e.g. your kitchen or dining room table).
Measure the flour out and place in a pile on a clean surface.
Make a well in the middle of the flour and crack all 3 eggs into it. Then sprinkle over a pinch of salt (see pictures).
Using a fork, whisk the egg in the middle and then begin to gradually incorporate the flour. Then using your hands, combine the rest of the flour to make dough.
At first the dough will seem quite firm but by kneading the dough by hand for roughly 5 minutes, it will eventually become smooth, soft and bouncy. Make it into a ball and wrap it in cling film. Leave it to rest for 10-15 minutes.
Cut a quarter of your dough and flatten it into a rectangular shape. Ensure the rest of the dough is kept in cling film. Using a pasta rolling machine, roll the dough out over and over using the techniques shown in this first video. Pasta rolling machines have different number settings, often ranging from 1 – 9 (but they do vary so double check the settings on yours). When you start to roll your pasta, you will begin with setting 1 (widest). After every few rolls, you want to keep applying the folding techniques you see in this second video (watch from 5:27), sprinkling your dough with a little flour, and increasing the setting by 1 each time until you eventually reach the setting 8 or 9. It does take a few practices to get the hang of rolling pasta out. When your pasta is approximately 1mm thick, trim the ends straight and cut out large circular shapes using a biscuit cutter. I used one approx. 3 inches wide.
Repeat the above step for each quarter piece of your dough. A quarter of your dough should produce approx. 12 circles – ish. (2 circle cut-outs are used for each pasta parcel and I produced about 50 circle cut-outs (25 pasta parcels) using all of the dough. Leave to one side on your table, ensuring the pasta cut-outs aren’t overlapping as they will stick otherwise.
SPINACH & RICOTTA MIX
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
Pinch of grated Nutmeg
Pinch of Sea Salt
A few grinds of Black Pepper
1 heaped teaspoon of green pesto
20g (1 tablespoon) Grated Parmesan
Using a low heat, cook the spinach in a large pan with a drizzle of oil and a dash of water. Add a seasoning of salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cover with a lid and leave to sweat.
Once the spinach has softened, steamed through and reduced in size place it in a bowl and leave to cool.
In a separate bowl, measure out and add your Ricotta, Pesto and Parmesan.
Once the spinach has cooled, squeeze all the juice out of it and place it onto a chopping board. Here, I found it helpful using a spoon and tea strainer – using the spoon to apply pressure to squeeze the juice through the strainer bit by bit. Leave the bowl of spinach juice to one side.
Finely chop up your spinach on the chopping board and add it to the bowl with the Ricotta, Pesto and Parmesan. Add three tablespoons of spinach juice and mix the ingredients together using a fork.
Tomato & Garlic Pasta Sauce:
A drizzle of Olive Oil
½ teaspoon of Garlic puree
1 teaspoon of pesto
1 teaspoon of tomato puree
Dash of water
A tiny pinch of Italian spices
Pinch of Bouquet Garni herbs
Put the oil, garlic puree and pesto on medium-high heat in a pan.
Add the Passata and a dash of water.
Stir in the tomato puree.
Season with some sea salt, a few grinds of black pepper, a small pinch of Italian spices, and a pinch of bouquet garni herbs
Simmer on a very low heat for a few mins.
- First, make the pasta dough and leave it to rest for 15 minutes. During this time, you can make the Spinach and Ricotta filling.
- Next, roll out the pasta dough as described above. Take one circle cut-out and place a level teaspoon of spinach and ricotta mix in the centre and enclose with a second circle cut-out. You can use a little water for sticking. Once you’ve done this for all your pasta, evenly place the pieces of ravioli to one side on a lightly floured surface, ensuring none over-lap as they may stick.
- Bring a large pot of water to boiling point.
- Whilst it heats, you can make the tomato sauce in a separate pan.
- Whilst your sauce cooks on a low heat, place your Ravioli into the boiling water for 5 minutes. Once cooked, drain using a colander or sieve out using a slotted spoon.
- Divide among 3 bowls; and drizzle over an equal sharing of tomato sauce, some parmesan and a sprig of spinach.
- Serve & enjoy.