Saturday, July 24, 2010

Beef and Spinach Ravioli

(about 6-8 servings)

I have a tendency to do similar things in little spurts. I'll read several books of the same genre back to back, or watch several films, or visit several plant nurseries that happen to specialise in something in particular. The same applies to cooking. My pasta machine is still out on the counter and I'm still thinking of ravioli. I got up early this morning and made double this recipe; most of which will be frozen.

The very first time I ever made ravioli, I made a beef and spinach filling similar to this.  I started adding mortadella or prosciutto in recent years, which seems to work well.

2 1/4 cup unbleached flour
1 cup semolina flour
1 tbsp beet powder, optional (I'm just adding this for colour)
1 tsp salt
4 large eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
1-3 tbsp water, if needed

Place the flours, beet powder and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a dough blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the eggs and oil; pulse a few more times. The mixture should look like moist bread crumbs that easily form into a ball if you pinch a few together. If the mixture seems too dry, then add the water a tablespoon at a time until the consistency is right.

For ravioli I like it when the crumbs are on the verge of forming a ball. The mixture is dry enough that it's not necessary to dust everything with flour, yet there's a slight tackiness present.

Gather up the dough and knead a few times. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest while you make the filling.

2 tsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb lean ground beef
2-3 slices of mortadella, diced or 2 oz prosciutto, chopped
1 10 oz pkg of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry and finely chopped
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and fry for about a minute. Add the onion and cook stirring until the onion becomes translucent. Add the beef and continue to cook, breaking up the meat as you stir until the meat begins to brown. Add the spinach and continue to cook and stir until the mixture appears dry. This takes about 10-15 minutes.

Place the meat and onion mixture into a large bowl and add the mortadella or prosciutto, ricotta and parmesan cheese, egg, salt and pepper. Stir to combine everything well. Set aside.

To assemble and serve
olive oil or butter
grated Parmesan cheese

Remove enough dough to roll out 2 rectangles of dough to about 1/8" thickness to fit the ravioli mold, if you are using one. I do this with a pasta machine, but a rolling pin works well too. Place one sheet of dough on a ravioli mold and press with the top to make indentations. Fill the indentations with the meat mixture.

Brush a bit of water all around the edges of the squares. Place the 2nd pasta sheet on top. Roll with rolling pin until the ravioli are cut out.

Continue until all the dough and filling is used up.              *The photos above are from my mushroom ravioli.

At this point you can place the ravioli in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze them for about 10 minutes and then bag them for further freezing.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil and cook the ravioli in batches. They should float up to the top and be done in about 2-3 minutes.

Drain the ravioli and toss in a bit of olive oil or butter. Sprinkle with cheese


Jennifer said...

I LOVE the idea of using the beet in the pasta!! This sounds great!

Emily said...

This ravioli mold is genius! Can you tell me where you got it?

Gerlinde in Washington said...

I got it years ago at Zabar's, in NYC, however I recently saw them at Sur La Table, here in Dallas.


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