Thanks to MasterChef contestant Matthew Orsini for this recipe.'
One onion finely chopped
One bag of spinach washed
¼ cup of whole milk ricotta cheese strained in a cheese cloth (will explain later)
Either a 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg or one half of one nutmeg finely grated
One lemon juiced
¼ cup grated parmesan
Zest of one lemon
One small bag of pine nuts
One clove crushed garlic
One Egg Beaten or warm water
One stick of butter
6 sage leaves finally chopped
One lemon juiced
1/4 cup of semolina flour
1 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
Three eggs beaten
The first thing to do is take the ¼ cup of ricotta cheese and wrap it in a cheese cloth. Tie it over the sink and let strain. Once you have all these ingredients separated out you will want to go ahead and turn the heat up to medium on one pan lightly coated in olive oil. Once it has heated enough, add the chopped onion. You will want to make sure the onions are fully caramelized before you pull them. Go ahead and heat up another pan on the side. I love to use a kitchen aid for the next step, however it is not necessary. You will want to mix about 2 teaspoons of salt with the flour and set aside. Check your onions and stir. The onions should be caramelized by now, so you will want to pull them and set aside. Add olive oil, black pepper, the crushed garlic, and grated nutmeg to the other heated up pan. Once the garlic begins to caramelize add in the spinach and the juice of one squeezed lemon. Grind some fresh salt over and stir to incorporate. Sautee the spinach fully and add a little more nutmeg, the lemon zest, for freshness, and black pepper on top of the spinach. Remember the most important thing is to TASTE AND TASTE! Always adjust as needed. If it needs salt add more. Go ahead and remove the spinach from the pan and fully strain. Set aside to cool. After setting your spinach aside sauté your pine nuts in a small pan of slightly less than a quarter stick of butter until they have reached a golden light brown color. Pine nuts overcook easily so it's important to keep an eye on them. Pull them and set aside. Finely chop your cooled spinach and add in your onions and pine nuts. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Set aside to cool. Place in a bowl, cover and cool in the refrigerator until ready for use.
If using a kitchen aid with the paddle attachment, set the speed to a two and add in your beaten eggs slowly. If you are doing this by hand create a well and work the eggs with a fork from the inside out, until the dough is ready to work with your hands. Wait until the flour and eggs have fully incorporated. If it is too dry add a little warm water and on the other end if it is too wet add more flour. You will want it to be just wet enough that you can knead it and roll it into a ball; however the flour should still be slightly grainy that you will knead it into a ball. Once you are done making the dough place it on a floured cutting board to bring together by hand. Pasta does not like cold surfaces, so cutting board works great. Knead the dough out using the palm of your hand working it from inward/out. Work into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge or on the cutting board until ready for use. Go ahead and set up the pasta attachment on the kitchen aid.
Remove the ricotta cheese from the cheese cloth and add in the grated parmesan cheese to it. Incorporate the spinach mix and stir and taste. Cover and set back in fridge.
Work the dough out by hand until its ready to place through the pasta machine. Starting on a one setting, roll it, fold it; roll it again, etc…, until it gets as thin as possible. Right now you are activating the gluten. After you have repeated this step about 7 times on a setting one you will send it through each other setting once time through until you have rolled it out at a 6. Halfway through the stretching process you will probably want to cut it in half since your sheet of pasta will be extremely long. You are looking to have nice clean silky sheets. Cut each sheet in half. Place the ricotta mix in a pastry bag and squeeze a little bit of the mix about an inch apart on the sheet. Take a pastry brush and brush your other beaten egg or egg wash lightly around the ricotta mix. Fold the other half of the sheet over and press all the air out. This is very important as you will want to make sure there is no possibility the ravioli can explode in the water. Cut your ravioli and set on a floured surface.
Start your pot of salted boiling water and the brown butter sauce by adding the butter and a little olive oil over medium high heat, to a separate pan. Once it starts to brown add in the other half of the lemon juice for acidity and honey for sweetness. Toss in your sage leaves to crisp up. Once you hear that bubbling popping sound your sauce has fully browned. Turn the heat slightly down. On the side I like to fry some sage in a little olive oil for garnish as well.
Once you reach a boil carefully add in your ravioli. These will cook in about 1 ½ to 2 minutes as they are fresh. Remove the ravioli and add in to the sauce to sauté. The ravioli will start to brown a little so remove once fully sautéed. The flavors of this dish come together perfectly as you will get that crispy outside texture on the ravioli with the creamy burst of flavors on the inside. The honey adds a little sweetness to a normally savory dish. Garnish with the fried sage. Enjoy and Ciao!
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