HOW TO MAKE RAVIOLI LIKE NONNA
Nonna Igea’s fresh ravioli pasta with ricotta and spinach. Ravioli are half-moon shaped pasta famous all over the world filled with ricotta and spinach. Learn how to make ravioli from scratch with my very own Nonna Igea who has been making them for over 60 years! These delicious pockets of pasta are best served al-dente and be warned, once you start…just try and stop at a few!
1kg/8 cups plain flour
8-10 large eggs (farm fresh is better if you can get them)
1 x wooden board or kitchen bench
1 x ravioli/pasta cutter OR a sharp, thin knife
1 x pasta machine
1 x fork
350g/12 cups fresh spinach
600g/21.16OZ ricotta (strained)
Water (as much as is needed)
1 x egg
1 x medium size pot
1 x wooden spoon
1 x mixing bowl
1 x fork
1 x tablespoon
STEP ONE – THE FILLING
- To make fresh ravioli pasta, you start with the filing! The first step is to remove the stalks from the spinach leaves and discard them.
- Then, thoroughly wash the spinach. Rinse it, remove the water and then rinse again, putting the leaves into a medium pot.
- Add some fresh water to the pot, and put it on the stove at a low to medium heat.
- Add a pinch of rock salt, mix it through and then leave it to boil with the lid on, stirring it every so often so that the leaves on top cook too.
- Once the spinach is cooked, strain it and press all of the water out using a wooden spoon.
- Next, put it onto a flat plate, spread it out and leave it to cool.
VINCENZO’S TIP: To speed up the process, put the spinach in the freezer for a couple of minutes or the fridge for a little longer. Don’t add it to the ricotta while it’s hot!
- Put the ricotta into a mixing bowl and squash it down using a fork.
- Sprinkle in some nutmeg (or cinnamon, but Nonna chooses nutmeg every time!)
- Next, add an egg, mixing it through really well, before adding up to two cups of grated parmesan cheese.
- Mix again using the fork and taste the mixture to see if you might need to add a few more sprinkles of cheese or maybe a pinch of salt.
- Next, put the spinach you cooked earlier into your hand, and squeeze out any remaining water, before chopping it up using a pair of scissors (or a chopping board and knife).
- Add the strained spinach to the ricotta, and then mix well with your fork before adding a generous amount of grated parmesan and mix once again!
STEP TWO – MAKE THE FRESH PASTA DOUGH
- Put 1 kg/8 cups of flour on to your chopping board to make the fresh dough for your ravioli pasta.
- Create a well in the middle of the dough, and crack 8/9 eggs into it, leaving one to the side in case it is too dry while kneading.
- Beat the eggs well, using a fork or your hands, before slowly dusting in the flour on the sides of the well, combining it with the egg.
VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: Take your time with this process, being careful not to let the egg slip outside of the dough.
- Continue to mix the egg and flour, bringing it together and then slowly creating a pasta dough. There will be lots of flour crumbs that break away from the dough, keep cleaning the bench by putting these pieces back into the dough and continuing to mix.
- Once the dough starts to thicken, use both hands to knead the dough, until it starts to smooth out and all the flour disappears.
- Be careful not to knead the dough too much or it will harden and the pasta will not be right for fresh ravioli!
NONNA’S TIP: If you find there is too much dry dough that won’t combine, bring it altogether using a knife to scrape it all up from the board, and make a small well, adding a few drops of water and then mixing it again before adding it back to the pasta dough.
- Leave the pasta to rest for a few minutes, covering it with a bowl.
STEP THREE – MAKE THE RAVIOLI
- Attach your pasta machine to the bench you are working on, and sprinkle some flour on to it. Turn the nozzle to the widest setting (normally ‘1’).
- Cut a small portion of dough in preparation for the first sheet of pasta and press down on it slightly with the tips of your fingers before taking it through the pasta machine to flatten it.
- Take it through this first setting quite a few times, until you have a beautiful soft, smooth sheet of pasta.
- Change the setting to 6, and take it through 1-2 times, making sure the pasta sheet for the ravioli pasta is not too thin (or it will break when you cook it).
- Lay the pasta sheet out on the board, and using a spoon and fork, add small portions of mixture to the middle of the sheet, approx. 2 finger widths apart, being careful not to add too much!
- Now, fold over the top section of the dough so that it meets the bottom – be gentle and press down using the tips of your finger so that you are binding the borders of the ravioli together.
- Now, using the ravioli cutter or a sharp knife, create half-moon ravioli pasta shapes, making sure to leave a border so there is enough pasta to cook around each one otherwise they will break open when you cook them.
- Using the edges of a fork, press down and create lines, so that each raviolo is tightly sealed!
- Repeat this process until you have made enough ravioli for your meal!
- You will have some leftover pasta each time, which you can combine again to make more ravioli or even another type of fresh pasta using your pasta machine, or a knife!
- Next, get a tray, and sprinkle some flour on to it, adding the freshly made ravioli on it to rest before cooking them!
- Repeat this process until you have made enough fresh ravioli for your meal!
HOW TO COOK & SERVE
The ravioli pasta will need to be cooked in an XL large pot full of boiling water for at least 15 minutes. As it is fresh pasta, cooking time will depend on the thickness of the pasta (which will differ for everyone), so make sure to taste test while cooking and get the timing just right – making the ravioli al-dente of course!
Once the ravioli pasta are cooked, you can strain them and mix them with your favourite sauce! Nonna LOVES serving her ravioli pasta with her homemade tomato sauce and lots of parmesan cheese!
What’s your favourite?
HOW TO MAKE RAVIOLI FROM SCRATCH
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!
Another great recipe from Nonna is her Chicken Broth served with Crepes (Click here to get the recipe)
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