How to prepare simple homemade ravioli recipe? Anyone can prepare it with just a little effort. Making your own pasta is a fun thing to do sometimes and a lot less hassle than you might think – even when you don’t have a pasta-making machine. The hardest bit is rolling out the dough because at first it keeps springing back, but the process gets easier as you go along, so grit your teeth for a couple of minutes and try and think of it as a great, free toning exercise for the upper body. You could cut the finished pasta into strips or lasagne sheets, in which case it’s best to use the pasta straight away to stop it welding itself together, but I think it’s actually easier and certainly more rewarding to make ravioli, not only because it looks and tastes better, but because it can be stored in a food bag in the fridge for a couple of days without getting too sticky. Super-fine 00 flour is perfect for making pasta but I always get a good result with ordinary plain flour; just be sure to sift the whole lot at least once before you start. It’s also important to follow the instructions carefully in the early stages when you’re incorporating the eggs and spinach purée into the flour. You won’t need to use all the flour to make the dough, as you’ll see, so don’t work too quickly and risk pulling more flour into the mixture than you need or the pasta will be ruined and you won’t be able to do a thing about it. Although the spinach gives this ravioli a lovely colour and flavour of its own, if you want yellow pasta instead of green, leave out the spinach purée and use four large eggs instead of three. Finally, the amounts given here are enough for about eight servings so you could store half the dough in the fridge for a couple of days, then when you’re ready to use the pasta let it rest at room temperature for a couple of hours and knead it gently for a few minutes before rolling it out again. Here are ingredients and simple directions:
SIMPLE HOMEMADE RAVIOLI RECIPE - EASY DIRECTIONS
- 3 full mugs of flour (00 or plain)
- 3 large eggs
- 1–2 handfuls of spinach
- Tomato purée
- Ricotta (or feta) cheese
- Wash and tear the spinach, place in a small casserole dish with a very little water then cover with a lid and cook in the microwave for about 2 minutes until the leaves have wilted. Purée the cooked spinach in a blender or food processor.
- Now sift the flour into a big heap on a clean work surface, or straight onto a very large wooden board, and make a deep well in the centre.
- Break the eggs into the well one at a time then add about half the spinach purée and use a blunt dinner knife to gently work the flour in a little at a time, taking care not to send the liquid cascading over the edge of the flour and all over the worktop.
- Work carefully, adding a little more of the spinach purée if it looks like the mixture can take it, then once you’ve got the beginnings of a soft dough, gather the remaining flour together and sift it back onto your work surface in a neat pile so you’re working with clean, new flour again. (This step should take around 5 minutes.)
- Re-flour your work surface, adding a little more flour to the dough as and when you need it to prevent it becoming too sticky.
- Knead the dough for about 15 minutes, pushing the dough away from you with the heels of your hands, until the dough becomes pliable and springy. Test by pressing the dough with your finger; if the dent disappears and the dough regains its shape, it’s ready.
- Wrap the dough in cling film, or cover it with an up-turned bowl and allow it to rest for 20–30 minutes at room temperature.
- Roll the dough out with a large rolling pin, turning frequently and adding a little more flour when necessary, until the dough is as thin as you can make it without breaking it and you can see the shadow of your hand through it.
- Use a large pastry cutter with a fluted edge or an ordinary mug if you don’t have one to cut out as many rounds as you can. Put the pasta rounds on a lightly floured tray while you reroll the trimmings, lightly kneading the dough a bit more each time to keep it malleable without overworking it.
- Squeeze a pea-sized amount of tomato purée onto the centre of each piece of pasta, top with 1⁄2 teaspoon of cheese and fold the rounds into semi-circles, pressing the edges together to seal the ravioli. (Don’t try and use water to help seal the edges as you would with pastry; this makes the pasta too tacky without actually sticking it together for some reason.)
- Cook the ravioli in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for about 3 minutes and serve with grated fresh Parmesan cheese and a side salad.
- To store in the fridge, dust the ravioli with a little flour and put in a large food bag, or on a plate covered with cling film.
Follow this directions carefully and you will be surprised how good this recipe really is. Bon Apetit.