#RespectThePasta – From Scratch!

I’m nearing the end of my Ask Italian blogger challenges which is sad as I’ve really enjoyed each one of them. If you missed them, you can catch up on Challenges One, Two and Three.

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

180g ricotta

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!

If you want to find out more about ASK Italian check out their website or their Twitter and Facebook pages. They also have some great YouTube videos …

Disclosure…we were provided with a the flour and ravioli cutter for the purposes of this review. All opinions are honest and my own. 


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