Food inspiration takes many forms: a favourite meal remembered, a key ingredient you’ve been wanting to try, a special request from a loved one, a new recipe. Well, my beloved husband Roo has been the lucky recipient of a new kitchen tool, a little press for cutting out ravioli. This is his inspiration.
I recently arrived back from a month in Italy during which time I attended a blogging conference in the Abruzzo region of Italy. There were inspired speakers and technical sessions as well as a bit of food and wine! Most of the bloggers were focussed on food, wine and tourism with a particular interest in the Abruzzo. As a thank you for keeping the home fires burning I brought my husband a few kitchen implements and the ravioli cutter was amongst them.
Armed with the ravioli cutter, a bag of locally grown Pangkarra stone-milled wholegrain durum wheat, and some fresh ricotta and spinach, Roo decided on spinach and ricotta ravioli with a simple tomato sugo. Rather than describe the process, I have photographed it. The recipe will follow the pictures.
The Recipe ~ Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli (about 40 ravioli – two large servings)
- Blend ingredients (except pecorino, beaten egg and pepperoncini) in a food processor (or just create a well in the flour and mixing with hands) until combined.
- Knead until smooth, about 10 to 15 minutes. Moisten with more water if the pasta seems too dry (wholemeal flour is more absorbent).
- Roll the pasta into a ball, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Blanch, cool and strain the spinach.
- Season the ricotta with salt pepper and some pecorino cheese.
- Blend the cooled spinach into the ricotta.
- Put a bit of flour on the bench and begin rolling out the pasta with a rolling pin. Note: if you have a machine, flatten the dough a bit to fit through the machine then start running it through the machine.
- Continue rolling out, trying to keep the pasta thin and in a rectangular shape. You want a thin and satiny pasta.
- Roughly mark out half of the pasta sheet, using the cutter to determine the size of each raviolo. You need to make sure you have 2 more or less equal pieces of pasta as one has to lay over the top of the other after the filling has been placed at intervals.
- You can put a few light marks in the dough with the cutter to indicate each square, being careful not to push right through.
- Place a dollop of the ricotta in each square that you have marked out.
- Brush some of the beaten egg around the perimeter of each dollop.
- Loosely cover the pasta sheet that you dolloped the ricotta onto with the top sheet.
- Lightly press around each dollop to remove air bubbles.
- Use the cutter to press through and create individual squares (see picture).