Although it may not be apparent from the photograph, this is spinach, ricotta and parmesan ravioli with a burnt butter sauce. Lacking in appearance, maybe. Lacking in flavour, absolutely not. This ravioli is basically just tender pasta encasing a surprisingly delicious filling spinach with a coating of burnt butter sauce. This recipe is nearly too easy to warrant a full post, however ravioli is so delicious that I thought it deserves it.
There are so many different types of raviolis, all differing by only the filling. If you can make pasta, which is very easy to make, then you will have no problem with ravioli. This is one of the most basic fillings for raviolis but there are so many other variations which I will be sure to try in the future.
There is only one criteria concerning a filling for a ravioli and that is that it shouldn’t be too wet. Once you get that then the world of ravioli fillings is your oyster. In fact, an oyster ravioli filling might be quite nice.
I have made pasta numerous times, however this was my first attempt at ravioli. They may not be good enough for a restaurant menu, they may have too much creases and the odd air bubble, but they were my lunch so I didn’t really care about how they looked. All I cared about was how they tasted, and I have no complaints there.
To make pasta, simply mix 1 egg into 100g flour. The flour should be pasta flour, a very fine flour which makes the best flour. I actually accidentally used plain four when making this pasta and could notice a difference when rolling out the pasta and the actual eating of the pasta, it was rougher and slightly tougher but still perfectly acceptable. Basically, pasta flour makes the best pasta however plain flour will suffice in a pinch.
The actual kneading of pasta dough (and bread dough too) is a point that causes some confusion. Some people don’t knead the dough at all, some people knead the dough for a couple of minutes. Most pasta recipes say to knead the dough until smooth. I agree with this and I find it takes roughly three minutes to knead it until smooth. How the dough should be kneaded is another point of confusion. I just give it a simple squash and turn until it is evenly combined.
When the dough is made and rested, it needs to be rolled out (obviously!). This can be done with a rolling pin, however a pasta machine will roll your pasta very thin and evenly. Although it can be done by hand, there is no comparison to a machine.
The filling consists of ricotta, parmesan, egg yolk and wilted spinach simply mixed together.
The filling is spooned onto the pasta and then a lick of water or egg wash is giving all around the edges. Another sheet of pasta is then laid over the top, the airbubbles are expelled and the raviolis are cut. I think the proper shape for a ravioli is a square but I cut my ones into circles.
After a quick plunge in boiling salted water, the raviolis are tossed in a pan of sizzling butter. The butter is simply cooked in a pan until brown and then lemon juice is added. I also add a drop of truffle oil.
300g flour (I used plain flour however pasta flour is better)
50g grated parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk
- Heap flour onto work surface.
- Make a well in middle. Add eggs.
- Beat eggs with fork, drawing the flour into the centre until it gets too tough to mix with fork.
- Using hands, combine until it forms a rough dough
- Tip dough onto surface and knead for about 3 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
- Wrap dough in cling film and leave to rest in fridge for 30 minutes.
- Divide dough in two, roll both out into long, thin sheets.
- Place heaped teaspoons of the filling onto one lenght of pasta. Brush the edges of the pasta with either egg wash or water.
- Place the other lenght of pasta over the filling, press the pasta around the filling to expell any air bubbles.
- Cut pasta into either circles or squares.
- Boil for a few minutes in boiling salted water or until al dente.
- Serve with a small amount of any sauce you wish.