Eat/Drink Carmela's Kitchen

by Neon London

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Recipe: Carmela Sereno’s Ravioli con Spinaci e Ricotta

Italian cookery tutor, demonstrator and now author, Carmela Sophia Sereno is known on the twitter scene as The Pasta Queen and not without good reason.

Southern Italian Family Cooking is a delightful little book packed with easy and simple recipes written by a woman whose heritage and passion for her food shines from the pages. Whether you’re an experienced cook or a total beginner this book is full of authentic regional recipes of la cucina povera, a philosophy followed for generations, based on healthy food on a sensible budget.

The book is a great addition to any kitchen bookshelves as a refreshing change from the more complex Italian recipe books doing the rounds and we particularly love this easy-peasy recipe for Ravioli con Spinaci e Ricotta.

Need a wine match?
Try the light-bodied, fresh and stony Venetian Bianco di Custoza or a classic Chianti (Pick a DOCG for higher percentage of Sangiovese).

Ravioli con Spinaci e Ricotta
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

300g ricotta
350g spinach
80g pecorino
Salt and pepper, to season
½ tsp nutmeg, grated
400g prepared pasta dough
30g polenta

1. Crumble the ricotta into a mixing bowl using a fork. Wilt the spinach in the microwave for 30 seconds or pour boiling water from a kettle, leave for 2 minutes then drain any excess water. Squeeze the spinach well. I place the leaves into a clean tea towel and squeeze the excess moisture out.

2. Chop the spinach and add it to the ricotta cheese. Sprinkle in the pecorino, season with salt and pepper, add the grated nutmeg and mix well.

3. Take your prepared dough and halve it, this will make it easier to pass through the pasta machine. Roll out half the dough, following the instructions for simple pasta dough recipe on page 138.

4. Once you have reached the correct thickness (normally the setting before last on your pasta machine) flour your board.

5. Lay the pasta sheets out on your board and spoon teaspoon amounts of the filling onto one side of the dough, leaving a 3cm gap in between each spoonful. Brush between the filling with a little water and fold the dough lengthways. Repeat with the remaining sheets of dough.

6. Seal each raviolo by pressing the dough together with your fingers, taking care to remove any air bubbles as you work, so the ravioli do not pop and open in the pan. Cut between the moulded ravioli using either a pasta wheel or pastry cutter. Sprinkle the parcels with polenta or semolina to prevent them from sticking and set aside until you are ready to cook.

7. Cook the ravioli in salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes.

8. Serve with a tomato ragu or warmed butter and sage sauce.

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