Spinach and ricotta ravioli with basil and walnut pesto

Spinach and ricotta ravioli with basil and walnut pesto

Ravioli di spinaci e ricotta con pesto

By
From
Hazana
Serves
6
Photographer
Mowie Kay

These delicious ravioli are often served for Tu Bi-Shevat, the Festival of the Trees. They are also very good with a light tomato sauce or simply dressed with melted butter and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons butter
freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve

For the ravioli dough

Quantity Ingredient
250g italian ‘00’ flour
3 eggs
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
pinch salt

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
450g spinach
350g ricotta cheese
1 egg, plus 1 yolk
50g freshly grated parmesan cheese
grating of nutmeg
salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the basil and walnut pesto

Quantity Ingredient
pinch coarse sea salt
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 tablespoon freshly shelled walnuts, finely ground in a blender or food processor
30g basil leaves
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. To make the ravioli dough, follow the method for the pasta, below, adding the olive oil with the eggs.
  2. While the pasta dough rests, make the fi€lling. Wash the spinach, then cook in a covered saucepan over a moderate heat for 5–7 minutes or until tender – the water on the leaves will prevent scorching. Squeeze dry and chop €finely. Force the ricotta through a sieve into a bowl. Add the egg yolks, parmesan and spinach and blend well. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  3. Roll out the pasta into two very thin rectangles of equal size. Place teaspoonfuls of the fi€lling over one sheet of the dough at regular intervals, about 5cm apart. Cover with the other sheet of dough and press well around each mound. Cut the ravioli into 5cm squares with a pastry or ravioli cutter. Space them apart on a lightly floured tray and dry for 15 minutes.
  4. Now prepare the pesto. Place the sea salt, garlic, pine nuts and walnuts in a large mortar and crush with a pestle to make a smooth sauce. Add a small amount of basil leaves and grind them against the sides of the mortar until they break apart. Repeat with the remaining basil until all used up and you have a coarse paste. Add the parmesan, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil, stirring with the pestle, until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  5. Cook the ravioli in lightly salted boiling water for 5–6 minutes or until tender. Drain, dot with the butter and spoon over the pesto. Toss lightly and serve with parmesan on the side.

Pasta

  • To make the pasta, place the flour in a mound on a large wooden board or work surface and make a deep well in the centre. Drop in one egg at a time and add the salt. Gradually beat in the flour with a fork, then form into a soft ball. Knead well for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Do not add too much flour or the dough will become hard to roll. If the dough seems too dry, add a teaspoon or so of water. Wrap the dough in a damp cloth and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
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