Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ravioli with ricotta and spinach filling in mushroom cream sauce - A staple of Italian cuisine

This is a beautiful dish that can be served for a lovely dinner for two or for a wonderful dinner party and sure to impress!

Ravioli are traditional in Italian cuisine and loved around the world due to their versatility and flavor. The ravioli filling, made with ricotta, Parmesan, chopped spinach and nutmeg plays a key role in this recipe, with each ingredient contributing something different to the overall flavor: ricotta provides richness and creaminess and spinach is responsible for the savory side. The accompanying sauce is prepared using sauteed mushrooms with garlic and cream.

This is a beautiful dish that can be served for a lovely dinner for two or for a wonderful dinner party and sure to impress

Fresh ravioli dough may seem hard to make but it's truly not. Eggs, flour, a pinch of salt and a couple drops of extra-virgin olive oil will form a pasta dough that is soft and thin with just of the right consistency to keep ravioli together. There are no special tools or equipment necessary to create this delicious recipe. Just follow the instruction carefully and you and your family will enjoy an authentic taste of Italy!

This is a beautiful dish that can be served for a lovely dinner for two or for a wonderful dinner party and sure to impress

Yield: 5 servings                    Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients for ravioli dough:
  • 250 g (2 cups) all purpose flour, stiffed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
 Ingredients for ravioli filling:
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 of bunch of spinach
  • 1 egg
  • nutmeg
  • salt 
  • pepper
Ingredients for mushroom cream sauce:
  • 500 g (1 pound) mushrooms, sliced
  • garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • chopped chives,  for garnish
  1. To prepare the ravioli dough, combine the flour and salt on a flat work surface. Shape it into a mound and make a well in the center. 
  2. Add the eggs and olive oil to the well and lightly beat with a fork. Little by little, mix in flour from the sides until the dough starts to become compact. Continue mixing by hand, incorporating more flour to stiffen the dough.
  3. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. The dough should not be too wet or too sticky. It should only stick to itself, but not to your hands. It should not be too dry, either.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes to rest.
  5. Meantime, start preparing the ravioli filling, by sauteing the spinach until wilted. Chop it.
  6. In a medium bowl, mix chopped spinach, ricotta cheese, Parmesan and egg. Add salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg to taste.
  7. To assemble the ravioli, unwrap ravioli dough from plastic, divide in 4 equal parts.
  8. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash.
  9. On a floured surface, roll out each part of pasta dough very thinly, using a rolling pin. Keep rotating and turning the dough to prevent sticking and flour working surface with more flour, if necessary.
  10. If you don't have a ravioli stamp, you can use an up-side down glass to cut out circles in the dough. 
  11. Place a small portion of ravioli filling in the middle of half of the circles, making sure not to overfill. Using the egg wash, moisten around the outer edge of the dough circle. Use the other half of circles to cover the filling. Pinch the edges together and then seal them with a fork. Make sure to press firmly and go all the way around.
  12. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil and boil ravioli for 5 minutes then drain and set them aside – to be used with sauce below.
  13. For the mushroom cream sauce preparation, heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, garlic and a pinch of nutmeg and sautéed them for 10 minutes.
  14. Add cream and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add grated Parmesan cheese, mix until cheese is melted and mixture thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  15. After you have boiled ravioli for 5 minutes, drain them and add ravioli to the sauce to coat. 
  16. To serve, place ravioli and sauce on plates. Garnish with with chopped chives and Parmesan cheese.
This is a beautiful dish that can be served for a lovely dinner for two or for a wonderful dinner party and sure to impress! 

Tips and Tricks:
  • Store uncooked ravioli in single layers between non-stick baking paper in an airtight container for up to 3 months in freezer for a quick meal.
  • A gentle boil with lots of water will keep the delicate ravioli from bumping up against each other and losing their delicious filling.

1 comment:

  1. Made this on Saturday night and it was delicious! Had lots of filling left over (I think I made too much!) so had it with pancakes last night - also delicious!