Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with Tomato Cream Sauce

After discovering how to make fresh pasta, I knew one of the first things I wanted to do was make ravioli. I have always loved vegetarian ravioli, especially with cheese or spinach and cheese fillings. This recipe is pretty easy to make and if you don't want to both making the pasta yourself, you could buy fresh pasta of use wonton wrappers.

I don't have the proper kitchen equipment to make perfect ravioli so I had to hand-form all the pieces, which became pretty time consuming. This would be much easier (and prettier) with a ravioli mold. When making the filling, taste if before filling the ravioli to make sure the salt and pepper amounts are to your liking.

Filling recipe adapted from food.com
Sauce filling from juliasalbum.com

For the pasta:
1 portion of spelt pasta recipe

For the filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound fresh or frozen spinach (thawed if using frozen)
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons shallot, finely diced
1/2 pound fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped/grated mozzarella
salt and pepper, to season

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 medium sized tomatos, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup cream
20 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved if large

To make the filling, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the shallots until fragrant. Add the garlic and cook another minute until fragrant. Mix in the spinach and cook another 5 minutes. Drain al the liquid from the spinach mixture and finely chop the mixture. In a bowl, combine the chopped spinach with the cheese and stir. Season with salt and pepper and allow to cool slightly.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the 4 tomatoes and garlic. Cover the pot and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Pour in the wine and thyme and cook another 5 minutes. With an immersion blender, puree the tomato mixture. Add the cream and cherry tomatoes to the tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper and more thyme if needed and cook another 5 minutes.

In the meantime, roll your ravioli dough until it is very thin. If not using a ravioli mold see the photos below and the following directions. Cut out circles or squares from the rolled out dough. Place a small amount of the filling in each circle or square. Dip your finger in a small bowl of water and wet the inner edge of half of the ravioli. Fold the dough in half over the filling and press the edges together with a fork. Set aside.

Step 1: Roll and cut dough
Step 2: Fill dough
Step 3: Dab water on inner edge of dough
Step 4: Fold dough over filling and
crimp edges with fork tines
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place the ravioli in batches into the boiling water for at least 5 minutes, until the dough is fully cooked. Serve immediately with the tomato cream sauce and extra grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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