Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Spinach Ravioli stuffed with Ricotta and Pancetta

It takes very few ingredients to make fresh pasta dough which it can be used for everything from lasagne to gnocchi, tagliatelle and stuffed ravioli just like this one, to which we have added spinach to the dough and then stuffed it with Ricotta, Pancetta and Parmigiano.


Serve 2-3, Preparation approx. 60 mins, Cooking 10 mins

  • 200g/7oz plain flour or Italian ‘0’ flour
  • 2 eggs (1 egg for every 100 g flour)
  • 100 g fresh or frozen spinach
  • 1 level teaspoon fine salt
  • Unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons
  • Fresh sage, 5-6 leaves
  • 200 g cow’s milk ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 60 g smoked Pancetta cubes

Method

Steam the spinach or boil it in unsalted water. We decided to boil it so we wouldn’t throw it away and use it later to cook the ravioli. As soon as they are ready, squeeze them well and pass them through a blender to obtain a puree.
In a large bowl, make a well in the middle of the flour, the eggs and the level teaspoon of salt and start beating the eggs from the centre until the flour is slowly incorporated.
Now add the spinach puree and knead the dough slowly for about ten minutes, avoiding adding more flour, at most just a pinch, even if the dough should be a bit sticky. Knead to form into a ball shape.

Wrap it in a layer of cling film or place it on a tray and cover it with a slightly damp kitchen towel and let it rest for no less than 30 minutes.

In the meantime, put the ricotta in a bowl and mix it with two generous tablespoons of grated Parmigiano cheese. Fry smoked pancetta until crispy, add it to the Ricotta/Parmigiano mixture and mix.

Time to roll out the dough. Dust the dough with some flour and pass it through the pasta machine or flatten with a rolling pin to about 5mm thickness. In any case, the dough should be rolled out several times.
Using a pastry cup or glass, form circles on the pastry. Place a spoonful of filling on top, close the ravioli with another disc of pasta, sealing the edges with a little water and press with the tines of a fork.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and fry the sage leaves. Cook the ravioli in the cooking water kept aside, add salt and plunge the ravioli, cooking them for a few minutes, remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon, put them in the pan with butter and sage, sprinkle with the sauce, serve.

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