This is one dish which was waiting to be a part of my repertoire for a long time. I’m happy that I bring to you all today the recipe of homemade ‘Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli’. Simply put, Ravioli are a type of Italian Dumplings composed with a stuffing sealed between layers of thin pasta dough. These are usually served with a pasta sauce.
The Ravioli in my recipe are filled with Spinach and Ricotta Cheese (a combination which is an all-time favourite of my better half and mine). We love the rich creaminess of ricotta cheese in this and the crunch of health which spinach offers. Icing on the cake is the white-sauce. Umm, you need to have a bite to witness divinity.
Here are the steps for a beautiful Italian meal;
Preparation Time 30 minutes
Inactive Time 30-45 minutes
Cooking Time 10 mins. (boiling) + 5 mins. (cooking with the sauce)
Main Ingredients Plain Flour, Ricotta Cheese and Spinach
Level Of Cooking Medium
For the Ravioli Dough
- Plain/Refined Flour (maida) 4 cups + 1 cup for dusting
- Beaten Eggs 2
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 tablespoons
- Salt to taste
- Water as required for a sticky dough
- Grated Parmesan Cheese to serve (optional)
For the Stuffing
- Ricotta Cheese 1 cup
- Chopped Baby Spinach 1 cup
- Grated Parmesan Cheese 1/2 cup
- Salt modestly
- Black Pepper Powder 1/2 teaspoon
- Beaten Egg 1 (at room temperature)
For the Sauce
- Olive Oil for frying
- Salted Butter 1 tablespoon
- Chopped Garlic 4 Cloves
- Ricotta Cheese 1 cup
- Fresh Milk 1 cup
- Plain Flour 1 cup mixed with 4 cups of water (adjust consistency to your liking)
- White Pepper Powder 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt to taste
For the ravioli dough – Take plain flour in a big bowl. Make a well in the middle, add the beaten egg, extra virgin olive oil and salt and begin to combine the mixture with floured hands until a smooth dough has formed (slightly sticky). Cover and keep it to rest for 30-45 minutes.
Keep a big tray/trays ready with baking/parchment paper dusted nicely with plain flour or semolina (avoids sticking of the pasta sheets). Keep the dough on your floured kitchen platform. Press in the middle with your palm. Using the back of a floured table knife, cut the dough in eight pieces (like a pizza). Now, make balls of each piece. Take a ball, roll it with flour, press slightly with your palms and run it a few times through your pasta maker or just roll lengthwise with the help of your rolling pin. The pasta sheet should be thin but not very thin, as it has to sustain the filling. Repeat with other dough balls. Transfer the sheets to the prepared tray.
Bring 1 ravioli sheet. With the help of a spoon, put dollops of spinach and ricotta filling at about 2 finger distance (one sheet can make about 4-5 ravioli). Brush all the four sides of the sheet with water. Now place the 2nd sheet on the first, pressing well on all the four sides of the filling so that it’s nicely sealed. Cut ravioli with a ravioli cutter or simply with a knife (as shown in the photo) from all four sides and make square shape ravioli. Then, by lightly dabbing with a fork you can make design on the edges of the ravioli (as shown in the photo). Keep these on a floured surface or floured plate. Do the same for the rest of the sheets. (While giving ravioli a square shape, some dough with come out, which you can save for making some more pasta sheets later.)
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add salt generously. Add about 5-6 ravioli at a time, tilt the pot from side to side briefly to stop them from sticking together, then simmer for about 2 minutes until they start to float. Cook for 15-20 minutes or till al dente. Drain the ravioli and leave them to steam-dry for 1–2 minutes.
For the sauce – Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add olive oil and butter. Add the chopped garlic and sauté until golden brown. Then add plain-flour and water solution, milk, white pepper powder, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt and mix well. Keep stirring and make sure that no lumps are formed. When the mix turns thick then close the flame.
Add the ravioli and coat with the sauce. Transfer the ravioli to a bowl and serve hot. You can season them with grated parmesan cheese or oregano or any other Italian seasoning.
[PS: You can store the excess boiled and drained ravioli in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and can toss them in olive oil/butter or any sauce of your choice as and when you like. Just brush the ravioli with olive oil on both sides when storing so that they don’t stick to one another.]