Sunday, 12 May 2013

Home Made, Half Fried, Oversized Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli With Sage Butter

Sundays Labour of LOVE

Home Made, Half Fried, Oversized Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli With Sage Butter

If you're vegetarian and love food then you need to know how to make this's a labour of love, but veggie or 
not there's no one doesn't drool at the sight of this. I'm drooling just thinking about the last double portion I scoffed!
Previously I have shied away from any especially labour intensive cooking, I'm too impatient and ordinarily want to be eating just ASAP so maybe save this one for the weekend or perhaps if you want to impress at a dinner party. Just so you know quite how committed I am to this dish, I spent an entire day making enough for 75 portions for the last Get In My Pop-Up!! Committed!! Once you've mastered it, it takes no time at all.

I've included some small tips in here that make all the difference and if you happen to come across pasta '00' flour then stock up, it can be a pain to get hold of unless you're in Waitrose!

Serves 6/8
Cooking Time 1hr

Pasta Ingredients-
 (You can just use the '00' flour but I find this combination works well)
350g of '00' Flour/Pasta Flour
150g of Strong White Flour (usually used for baking- you should be able to pick this up anywhere)
4 x Medium Sized Free Range Eggs 
1/2 x tsp of salt
2-3 x tbsp of water - depends on eggs size and consistency once all mixed
Fine Semolina - use to stop the pasta from sticking together or going sloppy once you've added the filling- flour doesn't work in the same way.
2 x Egg Whites - use to stick your ravioli together

TIP- You can make the fresh pasta the day before or two if you have to, I find that if you're going to do the fried version that there's no harm in cooking them once you've made them then frying them up just before you're ready to serve.

If you have a mixer then use the K beater to combine all of the above. The mixture should turn to crumbs when adding small amounts of water. Do this literally a teaspoon at a time until it turns to bigger crumbs before coming together into bigger doughy lumps. Don't worry that it's not in a smooth ball at this stage. Take it out of the mixer and roll/knead it together into a ball as best you can. I find using the ball of your hand works best plus you get to really work those arm muscles.

-If you don't have a mixer then heap the flour up and make a well in the middle, crack the eggs into it and use a knife to mix the flour and eggs. Using your hands, bring the mixture together and knead until in a rough ball.

The trick here is to then wrap it in cling film and leave it to rest for a minimum of 30 mins or up to 3 hours. It then miraculously comes together and you only need to gently knead it a few times before it's ready to roll out. 

If you have a pasta machine, roll it through each thickness setting twice. If you don't then you need to aim to roll the pasta out so it's as thick as a penny, it should be slightly transparent. 

Ingredients for the Spinach and Ricotta filling-
250g Spinach - thoroughly washed
300g Ricotta
1 x tsp of Nutmeg
1/2 Lemon Zest
Salt & Pepper - Black & White

Filling Instructions- 
Cook the spinach on a medium heat until it all wilts and then transfer to a muslin cloth or tea towel. Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible, then combine all of the above ingredients and mix thoroughly.
TIP- Make sure the filling is completely chilled before adding to the pasta.

For as little pasta wastage as possible make semi circles pasta shapes or squares if you really don't want to waste any at all. For semi circles add a teaspoon of the filling before folding the pasta over the filling and cutting it into a semi circle. Make sure you brush egg white on the pasta before folding so that the pasta sticks whilst leaving as little air in there as possible. For circles or squares just add the mixture to the pasta and brush a wash of egg white around the filling before placing the pasta on top, pushing out any air and cut with a knife into a circle or use the top of a large wine glass.

Cook in boiling water, with a dash of oil and salt. Cook for 4/5 mins

Drain the water off then add to a hot pan with a mixture of oil and butter (just so the butter doesn't burn.) Add 4/5 sage leaves and fry on one side until crispy. Serve with the sage butter drizzled all over.

When I made a big batch I found it easier the make the sage butter separately- just butter rock salt and sage leaves- this way the sage leaves didn't burn.

If you fancy a sprinkle of parmesan then go for it- you can buy vegetarian style 'parmesan' here, plus an extra sprinkle of lemon zest finishes this off perfectly, and be generous with the sage butter!


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