Italians make fresh pasta on special occasions, I enjoy making fresh pasta when I have time on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It is so special, the taste and al dente bite of fresh pasta is different to that of dried pasta and it really works well with the delicate flavours of spinach, ricotta, sage and butter.
Eggs and flour - what could be easier. When I mean eggs, I mean free range which will give the dough a lovely deep yellow hue. Be sure to use strong "00" or bakers flour.
Ratio: 5 free range eggs to 500g flour.
This will make quite a lot of pasta, I scaled down to a 3:3 ratio.
Place the flour on your work surface, make a well and add the eggs. Using a fork stir until you have a dough you can work with your hands. Continue to knead until the dough is smooth, silky and elastic. Wrap in clingwrap and rest in the fridge.
For the filling, I mix wilted spinach with ricotta, parmesan, lemon zest and pepper together in a bowl.
Now comes the fun part, working with a pasta maker I roll out the pasta sheets to about 1mm thick and 10cm wide.
Lay the sheet on a flour dusted work surface and add heaped teaspoons of filling along one edge of the pasta, leaving room between each one. Fold over the top, ensure all air is out of the mixture and cut with a knife, crinkly cutter or cookie cutter which is what I used in this recipe. You can roll out the offcuts to continue making ravioli.
Cook in boiling salted water for 3 - 4 minutes.
In a little butter to a pan, cook gently until you get that burnt look (don't go over as it will become very bitter) add the sage leave at the end to crisp up.
Grate a little extra parmesan on top and enjoy the taste of Italy.
Next time I plan on making a bigger batch and freezing some for a quick midweek meal. I am thinking of a pumpkin or sweet potato filling......