Spinach and Cheese Ravioli

These ravioli don’t have a strong spinach flavor, but the texture of the dough is nice and hearty.  They freeze well for a quick and healthy meal on a busy night. Ravioli are not hard to make, but I would recommend having a two-person team: one to roll and one to fill and shape.

Ravioli, ready for freezingDough:
8.5 ounces flour (about 2 cups)
6 cups fresh spinach
3 eggs
1 tbls. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt

Making the dough-

1. Prepare the spinach. Saute with just about 1 tbls. of water in pan for a few minutes, until wilted. (If you’ve just washed the spinach, shake a little of the water out and then toss in the pan. The leaves will be wet enough.) Place the spinach on a washcloth (that you don’t mind being stained) and squeeze over the sink. Try to get out as much water as possible.
2. Mix flour and salt ingredients in a bowl.
3. In a food processor, add egg, spinach, and oil. Process until smooth.
4. Make a little well in the flour mixture, pour in spinach mixture and mix with a fork until lumpy. Knead with your fingers until it comes together. Knead one additional minute, adding extra flour, if needed. (How will you know if more flour is needed? Dough should not be wet or tacky.)
5. Allow your dough to rest, covered, for 30 minutes. (Be patient. This step allows the flour to get properly moistened and allows you to work with the dough.)

Filling:
2 cups homemade ricotta
3 gloves garlic, finely diced
about 1/4 cup grated parmesan
about 1/4 cup grated mozzarella
salt and white pepper to taste
optional: add fresh herbs to taste

Prepare the filling:
6. Mix all the ingredients in small bowl. If your filling is too dry, mix back in about 1 tbls. of the whey from the cheesemaking. You want your filling to be light and fluffy, but it needs to be able to hold its shape.

Flour the dough before you roll it each time - Roll out the pasta:
7. Divide the pasta dough into 4 equal balls. Cover the balls that you are not using.
8. Shape the first ball into a rectangle. Sprinkle with a little flour every time your dough feels too tacky. Roll your dough through the pasta roller, gradually working your way up to setting six, which will produce a thin but sturdy sheet of pasta. Tip: fold your dough into a rectangle before sending it through the machine.

Shape the ravioli:
9. Cut a long sheet of pasta in half, so that you have two equal pieces. (Another technique is to fold a long sheet in half, gently crease to mark the center, and only fill one side. The second half of the dough becomes the top and ‘closes over’ the ravioli filling.)
10. Drop scant tablespoons of pasta about 1 inch apart on the dough, leaving an equal amount of space aDraw a line of water between each ravioli with your finger - round all four edges.
11. Dip one finger (or pastry brush) into water and run a line of water around the four edges and between each ravioli. Your goal is to moisten. Don’t get it too wet!
12. Lay the second pasta sheet over top of the filling. Work from left to right, gently pressing down between the ravioli as Seal the ravioli carefully - you go. You may need to stretch the last part of the dough over the filling.  Go back and seal the top and sides of each ravioli. Try not to trap any air next to the filling (or your ravioli may burst.)
13. Use a sealer/cutter pastry tool to seal and cut. (This tool is so worth the few dollars of its cost. But, alternatively, you can slice with a knife and seal by hand. I used to press each side shut with a fork and that worked well, though was time consuming.)

Save those babies for later:
14. Lay the ravioli on a floured sheet pan and place in the freezer for about a half hour. After this, they can be placed in a big freezer bag and won’t stick to each other.

Eat!
15.  From the freezer, boil in gently boiling water for five minutes. (Cook fresh raviloi 3-4 minutes.)

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6 thoughts on “Spinach and Cheese Ravioli

  1. Believe it or not, that is local, fresh spinach. I don’t know if the farm we got it from has heated green houses or just uses cold frames, but I’ll try to find out.

    The recipe should also work well with any spinach you’ve frozen from the summer – obviously you’ll need a lot less than 6 cups that way.

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  5. Hi,
    my name is Alessandra and it is great you are keeping up with healthy cooking and traditional recipes. Nowadays especially the young generations are loosing the contact with eating healthy and how to prepare a dish themselves. Not to mention all the preservatives and chemical useless ingredients they are putting into pre-packed and ready to eat food. Watching your pictures about ravioli it brings my mind back when I was young and my Italian grandmother from Naples (I currently live in Dublin, Ireland) used to prepare ravioli and tortelli at home. It was always an happy moment. Sometimes she let me helped her in the preparation and I was really proud of myself.
    Last week I bought a manual pasta maker like yours in the second image, so I am looking forward to try it. I will use your recipe as inspiration. Finger crossed.
    All the best with everything and keep in touch
    Alessandra Neri.

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