There’s an undeniable joy in cooking a meal from scratch to share among friends. Invite only those who share a passion for delicious food and aim to impress. This authentic pasta recipe from Italian providore Salt Meats Cheese is an excellent place to start. BYO Chianti.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf
Spinach and ricotta ravioli
100g flour per person, plus extra for dusting
1 large egg per person
Mound the flour in the centre of your kitchen bench or marble slab.
Make a well in the centre and add the eggs. Using a fork, beat the eggs together and then slowly start to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well.
As you mix the well will expand. Keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape.
When half the flour is incorporated the dough will begin to come together. Use your dough scraper to fold the dough in on itself a few times and then start to knead by hand.
Knead the dough for one to two minutes until it forms a rough ball and set it aside.
Scrape up and discard any dried bits of dough from the kitchen surface and clean your hands of any dried dough.
Lightly flour your kitchen surface and continue kneading for a further six to eight minutes or until the dough is elastic and forms a clean ball. The dough will still be a little sticky.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or leave under a cake dome to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling.
Spinach and ricotta filling
250g fresh English spinach
1 golden French shallot, finely chopped
30g unsalted butter
125g full cream ricotta
50g Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
Wash and lightly steam the spinach, then drain and squeeze out any excess liquid.
Finely chop the steamed spinach.
In a separate pan sauté the shallot in the butter on low to medium heat until translucent, fragrant and lightly golden.
Add the chopped spinach and continue to cook for a minute so that the spinach and shallot are coated in butter and glossy. Be careful not to let the pan dry out. If the shallot or spinach start to catch add a small amount of olive oil.
Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool. In a separate bowl combine the ricotta, grated parmesan and nutmeg with a wooden spoon. Add the spinach mixture, combine well and season with salt and pepper.
Cover the bowl with cling film and pop it in the fridge for at least an hour to allow to flavours to develop.
Place teaspoon sized balls of filling onto a sheet of fresh pasta, fold and cut into ravioli.
Burnt butter sauce with sage
100g unsalted butter
15 sage leaves, roughly torn
Small pinch of sea salt
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter is lightly golden.
Add the sage leaves and continue to cook until the butter is golden brown with a nutty aroma.
Remove from heat and stir through a small pinch of sea salt, or to taste.
Spoon over warm ravioli and serve with grated parmesan and ground black pepper.