Challenge Four was much more of a challenge and pushed me really out of my comfort zone – making pasta from scratch! This is something that I have always wanted to do but have put off for one reason or another so this challenge was the perfect kick start I needed to actually give it a go!
I made ravioli pasta and surprisingly you don’t actually need any specialist equipment such as a pasta maker – a strong arm and a rolling pin were fine! And although I used a ravioli shape cutter, you could cut out the shapes freehand just fine.
Here is the recipes I used (from the Ask Italian Cookbook)
How to Make Fresh Ravioli Pasta (For 3-4 people)
3 large eggs
250g ’00’ or strong flour
50g fine semolina flour
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until a ball of firm dough is formed. Add more flour if too sticky. Divide into two balls and cling film and refrigerate. This can be refrigerated for up to 10 days.
Roll the pasta out and cut out ravioli shapes. Dot the filling on one shape and top with another, pressing firmly to seal. Leave ravioli shapes to dry for 30 minutes (turning so that both sides dry).
Ravioli di Spinaci e Ricotta
Filling: 45ml extra virgin olive oil
100g baby spinach
80g parmesan finely grated
pinch of dried ground marjoram
pinch of dried oregano
pinch of nutmeg
30g soft white breadcrumbs
Sauce: 30g unsalted butter
115g garden peas
12 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
60ml dry white wine
230g creme fraiche
100ml hot pasta cooking water
freshly grated nutmeg
60g baby spinach leaves
salt & pepper
First make the filling. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a saucepan on a low heat, add the spinach and wilt slowly, stirring for 2-3 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Allow to cool before chopping finely.
In a large bowl mix the chopped spinach, ricotta, parmesan and remaining oil. Stir in the marjoram, oregano and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper as required. Add the breadcrumbs. You can keep this in the fridge for 1 day.
Make the pasta and fill the ravioli as above. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
Make the sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan and add the peas and basil and cook for a minute on a low heat. Stir in the wine, turn up the heat and cook until the wine has evaporated. Add the creme fraiche and the hot pasta cooking water, mix well. Season to taste.
Lower the heat and add the spinach and cook gently until it wilts. When you have added the spinach drop the ravioli in the boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and delicately stir into the pea sauce. Cook for 2 minutes more.
Serve on warmed plates and enjoy!
I really enjoyed this dish – as a vegetarian I eat a lot of spinach and ricotta pasta but usually with a tomato based sauce so this was a welcome change!
Disclosure…we were provided with a the flour and ravioli cutter for the purposes of this review. All opinions are honest and my own.