Spinach & Goat Cheese Ravioli

DSC_0456If anyone had told me that making fresh ravioli (or pasta for that matter) was this simple, I would have started making it ages ago! All it takes is a little bit of flour, water, olive oil, egg, and salt and voila, fresh pasta!

The only tricky part about pasta is cutting it into the shape that you want. Frankly, ravioli is probably the simplest of them all, and better yet, it’s also the quickest! The real trick to great ravioli is to make sure that you roll the dough out as thin as you can without tearing the dough. If you can do that, then you can make any ravioli your heart desires. We’ll focus on ravioli today and save the pasta cutting for another day!  DSC_0453 - Version 2Servings: 12-18 Ravioli

Ingredients:
Ravioli
  • 1 1/2 cup semolina flour (sub: all purpose flour) + extra for dusting
  • eggs
  • 2 Tbsp hot water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Filling
  • 1/2 cup cooked spinach (about 4 cups uncooked)
  • 3 oz goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Cup of your favorite Alfredo sauce
Directions:
Ravioli
  1. In a food processor, add the flour, salt, egg, water, and oil. Mix until well incorporated and dough forms. Knead the dough until well-textured and elastic. (The dough shouldn’t be too wet or too sticky. It should only stick to itself, but not to your hands.)
  2. Form the dough into a ball and wrap it with plastic. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes.
Filling
  1. While the dough is resting, cook the spinach in a medium pot until wilted and all liquid is gone. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze out all of the excess liquid from the spinach. ALL of it!
  2. Chop the spinach. In a small bowl, mix the spinach with the goat cheese, Parmesan, and nutmeg (add salt and pepper to taste).
Making the Ravioli
  1. Unwrap ravioli dough from the plastic, divide into two equal parts. On a floured table or counter, use a rolling pin to roll out each ball of pasta into equal sized (thin) pasta “sheets.”  Be sure that both sides of each sheet are well floured to avoid sticking (don’t be shy with the flour). Lift the rolled dough several times during rolling to make sure it hasn’t stuck to the counter, and flour working surface with more flour, if necessary. Like I said before, try to roll out the ravioli as thin as you can without breaking the sheets (this will take some practice).
  2. On one of the pasta sheets, scoop out 12 small portions of the filling in a 3 x 4 grid. Not too much filling – you don’t want to over stuff your ravioli – or they might burst when you cook them!
  3. Place second layer of pasta dough directly on top of the first layer. Gently press down the top layer of pasta dough (around the scoops of filling) to the bottom layer. Then, using a pizza cutter (or a knife) cut out the ravioli squares.
  4. Using a fork, press together all four edges of the ravioli to seal the filling inside.
  5. If you’re not using ravioli right away, place them on a sheet of parchment or wax paper and freeze. After they are frozen, place them in a plastic bag and keep frozen until needed.
  6. If you plan to eat them now (and I mean, who wouldn’t want to!), bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil. Carefully drop the ravioli into the water and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain the water and immediately toss the ravioli with your favorite sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
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