Ravioli filled with Spinach and Ricotta Cheese with Cherry Tomatoes Sauce
Ravioli is considered one of the most quintessential of Italian food experiences, with almost every town in the country having their own traditional Ravioli recipes. The fillings can be different, as well as the sauces used. Fillings can include Pumpkin, mushrooms, eggplant, and different cheeses but the result won’t change, always delicious! Here we teach you how to prepare the classic Ravioli, with Spinach and Ricotta filling, perfectly paired with a naturally sweet cherry tomato sauce! Buon Appetito!
For the Ravioli Dough
300 gr (10.5 oz) all-purpose 00 flour (make sure you have some additional set aside, approximately 3.5 oz extra)
3 large eggs
Pinch of Salt
For the Ravioli Filling
100 gr (3.5 oz) fresh ricotta cheese (drained from the excess milk)
50 gr (1.7 oz) Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan) DOP
Pinch of nutmeg
150 gr (5.2 oz) of fresh spinach (slightly blanched and squeezed from the excess water)
1 egg yolk
Mediterranean Sea Salt
Ground black pepper
For the Tomato Sauce
1 lb cherry tomatoes (chopped in half)
1 ½ cup bottled tomato ‘passata’ (a smooth, plain sauce)
Extra virgin olive oil
1/3 of red onion
Mediterranean Sea Salt
10 leaves of basil
Finely chop the spinach on a cutting board.
Pour the drained ricotta into a bowl, then add the Parmesan Reggiano DOP, one egg yolk, a pinch of salt, half teaspoon of nutmeg and the spinach. Mix everything with a spoon until you reach a dense mixture. Put the filling in the refrigerator to cool down a bit.
Arrange a volcano of 10.5 oz of 00 all-purpose flour on a wooden pastry board and break three large eggs inside the crater, then add a pinch of salt. Knead for about 10 minutes until it is soft and smooth, then wrap it with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Coat the bottom of a large-sized sauté pan with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, then add the onion (finely chopped) and brown it over medium-heat. When the onion turns translucent and golden brown, add the cherry tomatoes, salt it, cover with a lid, and cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat until the cherry tomatoes are softened. Add the tomato ‘passata’, pour a glass of water then cook for 20 minutes on medium-low heat. Once cooked, turn the burner off, chop 5 leaves of basil with your hands, add to the pan and stir gently.
Sprinkle and spread some flour on the cutting board and take the dough previously stored in the refrigerator. Work it with your hands by pressing with your fingers and widen it until you get a round shape of approximately 1/3 inch. At this point, roll out the dough by applying pressure to the center with the rolling pin and then spread the dough upwards and then downwards. Then turn the dough to the left and repeat the same procedure, until a sheet of about 1-2 mm (0.03-0.07 inches) thick is obtained. With a ravioli cutter (or a regular glass) cut the molds from the sheet. Approximately 24-30 squares or circles must be made for a total of 12-15 ravioli. Place a generous spoonful of filling on half of the molds, wet their wedges slightly with water and close the molds using the other half placed on top. Apply light pressure with your fingers to make the surfaces adhere and, with a fork, press to obtain the characteristic teeth.
Pour the ravioli into the boiling water and cook for about 4 minutes until done “al dente” (“hard to the teeth”). With a skimmer, take the ravioli out of the boiling water and put them into the pan with the cherry tomatoes sauce, add 1/2 ladle of cooking water then stir over high heat (don’t throw away the boiling water as it may be needed to wet the ravioli if they’re too dry!). Serve by laying 3-4 ravioli on a plate and garnish with cherry tomatoes and basil.
This dish pairs perfectly with a glass of Pecorino white wine!