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June 25, 2008

Spinach Ravioli

Spinach Ravioli: The Inside

Several years ago for Christmas Jamison got me a pasta maker and ever since then I had intended to make ravioli, but I never got around to it. On Saturday Jamison and Alexis decided that they wanted spaghetti and I am most definitely spaghettied out! I tossed around the idea of making a fresh pasta topper, but decided instead it was high time to test out some ravioli!

You don't really need a pasta maker to make ravioli if you're willing to roll out the dough over and over, but the pasta machine makes that step so much easier! I also don't have a ravioli "mold", but you don't really need one...All you need is a pizza cutter and you're good to go!

This version is made with semolina flour, ricotta and spinach. I had intended to throw in mushrooms too, but I got side tracked and it was all good in the end so that is all that matters. Don't let homemade pasta intimidate you because it is really quite easy, not to mention completely delicious!

What You'll Need:
2 cups of semolina flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
3 eggs (Note: Depending on humidity and such you might just need 2 eggs.)
1 cup of part skim ricotta
1 cup of chopped, cooked spinach, drained well
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Tomato sauce (Note: I usually just eat tomato sauce, but in this instance I used Jamison's meat sauce from his spaghetti and it turned out great!)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large bowl stir together semolina flour and sea salt until incorporated. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture an add 2 eggs. Stir until mixed and test dough by squeezing with your fingers. If it sticks together like dough then you won't need the other egg, if it's still crumbly then add another egg and stir to combine. Take your hands and knead the dough until a ball forms. Set aside.

In a glass bowl mix together ricotta cheese, a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper and stir to mix. Add spinach and mix until incorporated. Set aside.

Spinach Ravioli: Semolina Dough In The Pasta Machine

Divide the pasta dough into eight sections. Sprinkle a little flour onto your pasta machine and squish the dough into a flat circle. Run the pasta through your machine several times until smooth. If you need to add a little more flour then do. Each time you send it back through the machine, just fold the dough over on itself. If it seems grainy or it isn't sticking together like you think it should, just keep sending it through the machine and it will come together. The first time I made pasta I didn't work the dough enough and it turned out crumbly.

Spinach Ravioli: Semolina Dough Cut Into Strips

Take the rolled out dough and on a floured surface cut it into 2-3 inch strips.

Spinach Ravioli: Getting Ready to Fold

Place a dollop of ricotta mixture in the middle of the strip (1/2-1 tablespoon of the mixture) and fold over. Mash the dough around the dollop of spinach ricotta and then use your pizza cutter to cut off the excess dough.

Spinach Ravioli

Place the individual raviolis on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper and then repeat until you run out of dough an filling.

Spinach Ravioli: Read to Boil

Rule number one for pasta making...It doesn't have to be perfect! Just have fun. If you get a little spinach and/or ricotta into the dough no big deal. If it isn't perfectly sealed, well that's ok too! Once you have made the ravioli set it aside.

At this point you can do one of two things: 1) Boil some water and make ravioli or 2) Freeze the ravioli. If you want to freeze the ravioli simply put the baking sheet into the freezer and freeze until solid (by freezing them first it keeps them from sticking together) and then put in a storage container and place it in the freezer for up to 3 months. With this batch I froze half of them and cooked the other half. If you want to start cooking see below.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Salt the water with a little sea salt and add a single layer of the ravioli to the pot. (Note: They will sink to the bottom.) As the ravioli cook they'll start to float. When they float take them out of the water. If you have one that seems to be taking longer than the others then take your spoon and give it a nudge, it might be stuck. If it's not stuck then let it keep cooking until it floats. (Note: I've never noticed this with store bought ravioli, but it happened with every one of the ones I made.) Repeat this process until all the ravioli is cooked.

Spinach Ravioli

Once you remove them from pot let them drain in a colander or on a wire baking rack for a moment. Then place them on a plate, top them with a little hot tomato or meat sauce and some freshly grated Parmesan and serve immediately.

Notes: Cooked mushrooms would be a good addition to the filling, as would caramelized onion or you could do a simple ricotta an herb filling instead.

Posted by Dianne at June 25, 2008 7:09 AM

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It look's to good to be through I am definitely going to try this

Posted by: sorina at June 25, 2008 11:54 AM

This looks delicious!

Posted by: Erin at June 25, 2008 1:20 PM

It was really good. I still have some in the freezer too! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at June 25, 2008 4:15 PM

I knew I shouldn't have looked at your site when I am starving. Your ravioli looks so, so good!

Posted by: Noelle Markus at June 25, 2008 7:16 PM

Thanks! I was very pleased with how it turned out. :o)

Posted by: Dianne at June 26, 2008 9:12 AM

Oh, YUM. Spinach ravioli is my very favorite ravioli. Yours look so...FULL and delicious!!

Posted by: Jayne at June 26, 2008 7:45 PM

They turned out to be quite lovely! I've still got some tucked in the freezer that I vacuumed sealed so I'll pull them out the next time Jamison and Miss G want spaghetti! ;o)

Posted by: Dianne at June 29, 2008 10:30 AM

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