Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli with a Sage & Walnut Cream Sauce
This is a firm favourite in the Alberti Casa, rich, indulgent and moreish. A warming, well balanced dish that will be sure to delight and put a big smile on your face 🙂
For the pasta dough:
- 400g Tipo ’00’ flour
- Extra flour and Polenta, to dust
- 4 large eggs
For the filling
- 180g Spinach leaves
- 150g Ricotta
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 Egg yolk
For the sauce
- 10 Sage leaves finely chopped
- 60g Walnuts coarsely chopped
- 2 Shallots finely chopped
- 85g Butter
- 200ml Double Cream
- 150ml white wine
- Salt & Pepper
- 250g Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Making your filling:
Steam the spinach in a large covered saucepan and cover with a little water and cook for about five minutes, until the spinach has wilted. Remove from the heat, drain and leave to cool. When the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze to remove the water. This is a really important step. If there’s any excess water in the filling it may cause the pasta to disintegrate, so make sure the spinach is as dry as possible.
Finely chop the spinach then combine in a mixing bowl with the ricotta and egg yolk. Season, to taste, salt and pepper, mix well.
Making your fresh pasta:
Place the flour on a board or in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs in to the well, add a pinch of salt then with a fork, mix the egg into the flour as much as possible so it’s not sticky. Don’t worry if there are lumps in the dough, keep mixing and until crumbs form. Put it on a flat surface and knead together until you have a silky smooth elastic dough. You are aiming to achieve a playdough-like texture. If your dough is crumbly (too dry) add a teaspoon of olive oil. If the dough is sticks to your hands (too wet) add a little extra flour. Cover with cling film and rest for 30 minutes.
If you are using a pasta roller, split the dough into two balls, squash them flat with your fingers (remember to keep the rest of your dough, if you don’t use it all covered with the cling film so it doesn’t go dry and crusty), push them through the pasta roller on the widest setting. Fold into thirds, then repeat 5 times. Once you have a rough square shape, start working it through the machine, taking it down one setting at a time, until the thinnest setting. If your pasta is too sticky, it won’t go through smoothly, add a little flour to each side before you put it through the roller.
You should end up with 2 long sheets of pasta. You can also roll this by hand using a rolling pin but you’ll need some serious elbow grease to get your pasta sheets really thin and wide (about 1 playing card thick and 8-10cm wide). But it is good fun to do with children and they really do enjoy rolling out the pasta with the rolling pin.
Lay the pasta out flat on a floured surface. Place spoonfuls of the filling 5cm/2in apart, along the middle of the pasta sheet. Brush egg wash around each spoonful of filling and lay the other sheet of pasta on top and press around each spoonful of filling to seal, making sure all air is pushed out. Using a pasta cutter, cut squares or circles around the filling.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Lower the heat so the water is at a gentle rolling boil. Very gently lower each ravioli into the boiling water. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until ravioli float to the top and are tender. Don’t let the water boil too vigorously as this may cause the ravioli to split.
Making the sauce:
Add a little extra virgin olive oil and butter to a large saute pan and fry the shallots for a few minutes, then add the white wine and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the cream, sage, walnuts and Parmigiano Reggiano, season with salt and pepper and reduce for 15 minutes on a medium heat. Drain the ravioli and add to the saute pan with the sauce and mix well. Then serve immediately adding extra walnuts to finish.