Homemade Spinach and Farmer's Cheese Ravioli with Toasted Pine Nuts and Brown Butter
For the Pasta (makes 1 lb):
The dough may be prepared ( but not rolled out) and refrigerated up to 1 day in advance if dusted with flour and wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator.
4 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
2 tblspn EVOO
2.5 cups AP Flour + ½ cup for dusting
2 tblspn Water (if needed)
A water bottle with a spray nozzle (the kind you use to mist houseplants), filled with cool water
2 cups Corn Meal
Mix all wet ingredients in a large bowl, add flour and mix until everything has been absorbed and well blended. Knead dough with the palms of your hands until smooth, elastic and still a little wet (add water only if dough appears to be getting too dry). Using a pasta machine roll the dough until 1/16” thickness, dusting with flour as you go – do this right before filling the raviolis and divide into 2 portions (top and bottom)
– Wonton wraps purchased at any grocery store and re-rolled to the correct thickness make an easy substitute-
For the filling (serves 6):
This step may be done up to one day in advance
½ lb ricotta cheese (cottage cheese may be substituted)
1 whole clove of fresh garlic
1.5 lbs of fresh baby spinach leaves
½ cup grated Parmesan Reggiano (spring for the real stuff, substitutes don’t have the same flavor)
A pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
Salt, Pepper to taste
In a large pan add olive oil and garlic clove and cook until golden brown over medium heat, add spinach and cook fully. Place spinach on a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until cold all the way through. Squeeze as much excess water from the cooked chilled spinach as possible. Chopped the now drained and chilled spinach, then combine in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Assembling the ravioli:
Lay a sheet of the freshly rolled dough on a dry, cool, floured work surface. Place small scoops approximately 2 tblspn each of the filling rolled into balls or piped from a pastry bag ( or a Ziploc bag with 1 corner removed) into little mounds on the dough spread 2” apart. Lightly mist the bottom layer of dough and filling from the water bottle. Lay a second sheet of dough on top of the first sheet and little mounds of filling. Using a cookie cutter cut out the raviolis. Take each individual dumpling and pinch the edges together to create a tight seal and remove any air pockets (this prevents the raviolis from exploding in the pot) then place on a plate with the corn meal.
Final preparation and presentation:
Water and salt
¾ stick of butter
¼ cup fresh Pine Nuts (optional)
Parmesan Reggiano for grating (about 1 cup)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
Reduce heat of pot to medium heat.
In a sauté skillet cook the butter and pine nuts together on med heat until melted and it begins to turn lightly brown. Remove pan from heat. Add raviolis to the simmering water and cook gently for 2 minutes. Remove pasta from the water using a slotted spoon/ or a small sieve and drain.
Place the pasta rounds on a large platter and cover with the grated parmesan and glaze with the butter sauce arranging the sage leaves around the platter.
For a decadent touch top with fresh shaved truffles (we use both black and white depending on the time of the year, availability and of course price).