Ravioli with spinach, ricotta and tomato sauce
Makes about 30 ravioli
For the pasta:
For the filling:
For the tomato sauce:
Start with the pasta dough.
Pour the flour onto a work surface into a high hip. Now with your fingers create a well where you will place the eggs including the additional egg yolk (you can beat the eggs first and pour them into the well if you prefer). With a fork start gently with circular movements stirring the eggs into the flour until you obtain a rough dough. Now start kneading it for about 10 minutes, it is a very important part in the pasta making process.The dough should be fairly elastic at this point.
Now form a bowl, wrap it well in cling film and leave in the fridge to cool for about an hour.
To prepare the spinach and the filling**
Wash the leaves carefully and cut off any hard stems.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add some salt and after that the spinach leaves.
Boil them for a few minutes until they start turning soft (for the spinach about 2 minutes should be enough). Once the leaves have turned soft, drain them in a colander and run cold water over them. Toss the cooked leaves and check if they are cold.
Wait a few minutes allowing the water to drain from the leaves. Now squeeze out very well the remaining liquid with your hands. You can now roughly chop the boiled spinach leaves.
Now combine all the filling ingredients together and adjusting the seasoning to your liking.
Rolling out the pasta and shaping the ravioli:
I use a wooden rolling pin to roll out my pasta. Of course you can use a pasta machine if you already have one.
Take the dough from the fridge, divide it in half and start rolling it out on a floured surface turning it over until you get the pasta thin enough to be able to slightly see through when you lift it.
Wrap the remaining dough with cling film.
I use roughly one teaspoon of the filling for my ravioli (as seen in the picture).
I would recommend to try and make one or two pasta parcels first. The quantity of the filling will depend on the size of the ravioli you want to achieve. You can use stamps like mine that help to extract the unwanted air and seal the edges without the need to use an egg wash* (to glue the pasta sheets together). If you don’t have that kind of stamp or a similar one (with the open top) you can use metal rings/ moulds or even a water glass. Alternatively cut the pasta into squares and seal the edges with a fork or using your hands. Use the size of a teaspoon as guidance.
Once you have chosen the shape and the size of the ravioli, cut a long rectangular sheet of pasta and start arranging the fillings, make sure you leave about 3-4 cm of space in between.
If you are not using a stamp and want to make sure that the pasta sheets will stick together, beat one egg and brush it around each mound of the filling. Cut out another rectangular pasta sheet of the same size and gently cover the previous one pressing on top and around the filling mounds making sure that there is no air left in your parcel that you are making. Now take the stamp of your choice and cut out the ravioli.
Repeat the process with the remaining rolled out pasta. Make sure you dust your pasta parcels with the flour to prevent from sticking to the surface and drying out.
Roll out the remaining half of pasta dough and repeat the process.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a generous teaspoon of salt. Drop the prepared ravioli into the pan, stir gently and cook (without the lid) for about 1-2 minutes until they come to the surface. You can check one of your ravioli if the pasta is cooked enough, if not keep them in the water for another minute or so, otherwise remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and add them to the pan with the warmed up tomato sauce, which you have prepared a few moments earlier (see the method below). Give it a gentle stir, sprinkle with the grated parmesan and decorate with some basil leaves.
To prepare the sauce.
Heat up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Add the peeled and gently crashed garlic cloves and colour them on both sides (making sure they are not burned). Now pour in the passata, turn down the heat and simmer without a lid for about 15 minutes.
Add a pinch of sugar and some salt to taste. Tear in your hands a handful of basil leaves, add them to the sauce and cook all together for about 5 minutes or so until the sauce absorbs the basil aroma.