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Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli with Sage and Butter Sauce

Serves: 6

Sardinian-born Chef Mario Deruda of Bella Fortuna North says the holidays are a perfect opportunity to indulge family and guests with truly homemade traditional dishes. Deruda, who is known for the fresh pasta he makes at Bella Fortuna, says, “You can never go wrong with traditional homemade ricotta cheese and spinach ravioli served with fresh sage and a butter sauce. You can use this recipe for your holiday entertaining – both for dinner with family and for your holiday gatherings with friends or for any special event. You get extra compliments when you do.”

While homemade ravioli may sound difficult to make Deruda assures us it’s not difficult, “They are easy to make… the secret is fresh ingredients and freshly made.”

Here is his recipe…

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 2 cups ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • 2 cups spinach, cooked and chopped
  • salt and pepper

For the pasta:

  • 2 1/4 cups “00” flour or all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • salt

For the sauce:

  • 8 sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup butter

Preparation

For the filling:

Cook the spinach (boil or steam), drain it well (by pressing the liquid out of it) and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, beat the ricotta for a minute or so with a spoon. Add the eggs and then the cheese. Mix in the spinach and salt and pepper to taste.

For the pasta:

Make a mound with the flour, plus a pinch of salt. Then make a well in the middle in which to put the eggs. Beat the eggs with a fork and then slowly use the fork to incorporate the flour. Once the eggs are absorbed, use your hands to knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth. (Of course, you can use a kitchen mixer with a kneading attachment to accomplish the foregoing).

Wrap the dough tightly in plastic and set aside for 20 minutes.

Cut the dough into 4-6 pieces of equal size, but use only one piece at a time (leave the remaining dough wrapped in plastic). If you are doing this the old-fashioned way, with a rolling pin, then roll it out, fold it back several times, and continue this process until thin. Alternatively, pass it through a pasta machine until thin (or until it goes through the second thinnest setting at least twice).

Take the sheet, and using a cookie cutter or glass of about two inches in diameter, cut the pasta into circles. Immediately, spoon in the filling, and fold in half. Seal with fingers or a fork. Repeat this process until all of the dough and filling is used.

For the sauce:

Heat the butter in a skillet, add the sage and cook until the butter browns.

Cook the ravioli for a few minutes in rapidly boiling, salted water. Remove them to a serving dish with a slotted spoon. Pour the butter and sage sauce over the ravioli, and sprinkle with grated Parmigiano. Serve immediately.