Spinach Ravioli with Tomatoes and Basil

Spinach Ravioli with Tomatoes and Basil: Winter is the time for comfort food – but at Beechwood Inn we make all our comfort food from Scratch, no shortcuts allowed. You can fill ravioli with lots of different ingredients – one of our favorites is soft cheese.

Spinach Ravioli with Tomatoes and Basil

Filling:

1 pound fresh spinach stems removed

6 oz ricotta

6 oz mascarpone

½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1 egg

2 egg yolks

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Tomato Sauce:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

5 cloves whole garlic, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife

2 1/2 pounds tomatoes, about 4 cups, peeled, seeded and chopped, fresh or canned

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

20 large basil leaves, cut into thin strips

1 Recipe Spinach Pasta Dough

Place the dry spinach in a large frying pan with a tablespoon of water. Cover and over medium high heat, wilt the spinach, tossing occasionally. Remove from the pan and remove the excess moisture by pressing the spinach between sheets of paper towels until dry. Chop the spinach and place in a large bowl. Add the ricotta, mascarpone, Parmigiano,whole egg, yolks, garlic and mint and stir together until well mixed. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Place in the refrigerator until needed.

For the sauce, warm the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook stirring frequently, until light golden, about 3 minutes. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and discard. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the tomatoes and cook just until the tomatoes are heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In the meantime, divide the pasta dough into 3 pieces. With a pasta machine, roll one piece of the pasta out to 1/16 inch thick, or so you can almost see your hand through it. Place the piece of pasta on the work surface.

Place one heaping tablespoon of the filling just below the center of the sheet. Place another heaping tablespoon 1 ½ inches away. Continue all the way down the sheet. Each sheet should hold approximately 10 mounds of filling. Spray a very light mist of water around the edges or use a pastry brush to brush lightly with water. Fold the top over the filling to meet at the other side. With your fingers, go around the filling to seal the ravioli. With a zig-zag cutter cut to form square and place on a baking sheet lined with towels and dusted heavily with flour. Repeat with the remaining two pieces.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli and cook until al dente, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and toss with the butter. Place the ravioli on a platter and spoon the tomato sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the grated Parmigiano and basil and serve immediately.

Makes about 40 – 45 raviloi and serves 6 – 8 as a main course.

Spinach Pasta Dough

1/2 pound spinach, stems removed

1 egg yolk

1 whole egg

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Flour for rolling

Place the spinach, egg yolks and the whole egg in a blender and process until it is completely smooth. It should measure approximately 1 cup. Place flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt on the work surface and make a well in the center. Add the spinach mixture into the well. Using a fork or your thumb and first finger, bring the flour in from the sides until the mixture thickens. If you run out of spinach mixture, add an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of water as needed until the dough holds together in a ball. Then use a pastry scraper to incorporate the remaining flour. The dough should be fairly dry but still hold together. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes by forming it into a ball. Knead it until it is smooth, kneading in additional flour if it sticks to your fingers or to the work surface. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Alternately this can be made in the food processor. If you are using this method, add 1 to 2 tablespoons less of the spinach mixture and process until it looks crumbly in texture. Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, in the refrigerator for 1 day or in the freezer for 1 month. Makes 1 pound pasta, enough for 40 to 45 ravioli.