Spinach and Ricotta Tortelli (or Ravioli) in Browned Butter Sauce

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Serves 4
Adapted from: Food and Wine Magazine
Originally from February 2015 on my old blog


Now, while I wouldn’t suggest buying a pasta roller for someone who does not love to cook and prefers to take the shortcut of boxed pasta, I personally love having a pasta roller to make fresh pasta because the possibilities are endless! I could make ravioli stuffed with anything! Ravioli stuffed with cheese, mushrooms, vegetables, sauces… anything. But, I did decide to go the more traditional route here with ricotta and spinach.

I also have an obsession with browned butter, but if the idea of a sauce based off of butter scares you, the sauce could be perfectly swapped out for a traditional marinara sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup fresh ricotta
  • 1/3 cup plus ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ cup thawed frozen spinach, squeezed dry
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground pepper

In a food processor, combine the 1 ¾ cups of flour with a pinch of salt. Add the whole egg, 5 of the egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of water and process until a crumbly dough forms, about 2 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead until smooth; if the dough is too tough to knead, add another tablespoon of water. Wrap the dough in plastic and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Unwrap the dough and divide it into 3 pieces. Work with 1 piece at a time and keep the rest covered. Press the dough to flatten it slightly. Using a hand-cranked pasta machine set at the widest setting, roll the dough through successively narrower settings to the thinnest one. Lay the pasta on a lightly floured work surface, sprinkle with flour and cover with wax paper. Repeat with the remaining dough, dusting with flour and layering between wax paper.
Using a 2 ¼-inch fluted biscuit cutter, (or, if you’re like me and don’t waste your time with fancy flouted biscuit cutters, just use the rim of a cup) stamp out rounds from the pasta sheets. Cover with plastic wrap.

In a bowl, combine the ricotta with 1/3 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, the spinach, oil and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch round tip or to a sturdy plastic bag with a corner snipped off (or, if you’re like me and don’t waste your time doing all that fancy stuff, just leave your filling in a bowl and fill the pasta circles with it using a spoon).

In a small bowl, combine the 2 remaining yolks with ¼ cup of water. Working with one dough round at a time, lightly brush the edge with the egg wash. Pipe a scant ½ teaspoon of the filling in the center (it’s very easy and tempting to overfill these– don’t do it! The filling with ooze out the sides) and fold the dough over the filling to form a half moon; press the edge to seal. Lightly brush the dough with water if dry. Bring the ends of the half moon together around your finger, overlapping them slightly and pressing them together (if you’re leaving them as ravioli like me and not the tortelli, just leave them as the half moon shape). Fill and shape the remaining tortelli, transferring them to a tray lined with floured wax paper.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tortelli and cook, stirring occasionally, until they rise to the surface and the pasta is cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes, then drain, reserving ¼ cup of the water. Transfer the tortelli to a large bowl.

In a large skillet, cook the butter over moderately high heat until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Stir in the tortelli, the reserved pasta water and the remaining ¼ cup of grated cheese. Serve right away.

Happy dining!!

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