Evan and I love making ravioli, well any fresh pasta really. He gets so excited when the pasta machine comes out. I don’t make ravioli often due to the work involved, but I try to make at least 80 or so when I do so there is plenty extra to freeze. This recipe made about 84 ravioli based on the size of the ravioli press. If you don’t have time to make your own ravioli, this sauce is still delicious topped over your favorite store-bought package and comes together in the time it takes to bring water to a boil and cook the pasta.
I used a ravioli press, but you can also make the ravioli by hand into any shape and size you want. You can use a tablespoon to add the filling to the center of each ravioli, but I am quicker when I use a piping bag (or ziploc bag with the corner snipped off). If the spinach is too stringy when piping out the filling, use scissors to separate the filling between ravioli.
Place the prepared ravioli on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a single layer. Separate the layers with more parchment. If you aren’t using the ravioli right away, they can be frozen for up to months. Freeze them in single layers before transferring to a freezer bag. You can boil them straight from the freezer. Just add a couple of minutes to the boiling time to make sure the filling is completely heated through.
Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with a Walnut Cream Sauce
Ravioli adapted from Claudia Roden’s the Food of Italy: Region by Region
, Cream Sauce adapted from Emeril Lagasse
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces ricotta
4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups milk, lukewarm
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water for egg wash
Walnut Cream Sauce:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
In a large pan, drizzle olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach, in batches if needed, and cook, stirring often, until wilted. Transfer to a colander and allow to drain until cool enough to handle. Squeeze out any remaining moisture and chop finely. Place in a medium bowl and mix in Parmesan, nutmeg, salt, and ricotta.
To make the dough: In the bowl of a large food processor fitted with a dough blade or a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Mix in the eggs and slowly add the milk until the dough comes together. Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Wrap in plastic or cover with a cloth and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Divide the dough in half and cover one half. Roll the other half into a thin sheet using a rolling pin or pasta machine (I went to second from thinnest on the pasta machine).
If using a ravioli press: Cut the pasta into sheets the size of the ravioli press. Place one sheet on the press and top with plate to create indentations. Fill with tablespoon of the spinach and ricotta filling. Brush the edges with egg wash if needed. Top with another sheet of pasta and use rolling pin to seal. Gently press out the individual ravioli and place in single layer on baking sheet lined with parchment. Repeat with remaining dough.
If making ravioli by hand: cut the pasta sheets into 3 inch circles or squares. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each. Brush the edges with egg wash and fold the dough over to cover the filling, making half moons or rectangles. Place in single layer on baking sheet lined with parchment. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli in batches and cook until they rise to the surface and pasta is tender, about 4 minutes. Gently remove and place onto serving plate using a slotted spoon.
To make the walnut cream sauce: In a large pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Stir in the walnuts and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and beginning to darken in color, about 3 minutes. Remove to a plate.
Place remaining 2 tablespoons in the pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the shallots and garlic. Cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in the wine and cream, then increase heat to medium high. Boil until the liquid has reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil, salt, pepper, and cheese until smooth.
Serve immediately with cooked ravioli. Top with extra cheese if desired.