A joy to look at and even more delightful to make, our Christmas shaped ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta, finished with generous lashings of sage butter, are festive fun for all the family to enjoy. No technical know-how is required to make these pasta parcels; simply a little bit of patience and a Christmas cookie cutter of your choice.* Follow our simple recipe below to bring a taste of Italianità to your home this season, enrapturing everyone in that joyful, festive spirit.
*Should you need more guidance, you can follow our in-depth ‘how to make ravioli’ guide here.
Prep time: 70 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Calories per serving: 819kcal (including sauce)
- pasta machine or rolling pin
- festive cookie cutters (we recommend stars or snowflakes as they are easiest to fill, but you can choose any shape, from trees to gingerbread)
for the pasta:
- 200g ’00’ flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
for the filling:
- 1 bag organic spinach
- 250g ricotta
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 15g parmesan, grated
- nutmeg to taste
- black pepper
for the sauce:
- reserved pasta water
- 100g butter
- 8 sage leaves
- black pepper
Prepare the filling in advance
- Half fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil. Add your spinach, and allow to cook until wilted. This shouldn’t take much time at all, so don’t leave the pan unattended. Once wilted, drain your spinach, then lay the mixture in the centre of a cloth or kitchen towel. Gather the ends of the towel and twist over the sink or a bowl, ensuring to tightly squeeze, so as to remove as much water as possible from the mixture.
- Once you have extracted the water, transfer your spinach to a large mixing bowl. Add the ricotta, fresh lemon zest, parmesan, garlic, and nutmeg into the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir the mixture until fully combined.
- Cover the mixture and place in the refrigerator for an hour. While you wait for the mixture to cool, you can begin to make the pasta.
Make the pasta dough
- Place your plain flour onto a clean work surface. Using your hands, make a well in the centre and crack the eggs into it. Beat the eggs with a fork until smooth.
- Using your fork, begin to incorporate the eggs with the flour until everything is roughly combined.
- Start to knead the dough together with your hands. It will look a little scrappy at the start but don’t let this put you off; your dough should come together into a nice, smooth ball after about 5 minutes of kneading. Once the ball feels silky smooth, lightly push your finger into it. If the dough springs back, this means that the gluten has fully developed and it is ready to rest.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. After the dough has rested, it is ready to be rolled with either a pasta machine or rolling pin.
Roll the pasta dough
Using a pasta machine
- Dust your work surface with a sprinkling of plain white flour. Cut off a small section of the pasta dough and loosely form it into a ball. (Ensure to cover the rest of the dough with cling film, lest it will dry out.)
- Set the pasta machine to the widest setting and roll the ball of pasta dough through it. Click the machine down a setting and continue to roll the pasta through until it is translucent (around setting 6 or 7).
Using a rolling pin
- Rolling by hand follows much the same process as the machine, albeit with a little more elbow grease, or olio di gomito, as the Italians would say. Cut off a small section of the pasta dough and loosely form it into a ball.
- Lightly flour your rolling pin and begin rolling the dough as you would with a pastry crust, starting in the centre and rolling away from you to the outer edge.
- Turn the dough slightly and repeat, working your way around, until the sheet of dough is about the thickness of a 2p coin.
Fill and shape the ravioli
- Cut your sheet in half and lay both strips next to each other. Very slightly wet the edges of your strip of pasta with a pastry brush or by hand if need be. Using the piping bag, carefully squeeze the filling in a line down the centre of one of the strips about 2 inches, or 5cm, apart (as seen below).
- Place the other strip directly on top. Before sealing, gently press on the dough around the filling to eliminate any excess air. Next, very lightly moisten the dough with your hands and press it firmly closed.
- Take a Christmas-shaped cookie cutter and cut out each individual ravioli, ensuring to keep the filling in the centre. Make sure that the edges of the ravioli are fully sealed; if you’re unsure, you can crimp them with a fork. Repeat the process until you have used up all of the pasta dough.
Cook the ravioli and serve with sage butter
- Bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to the boil. Carefully place your homemade ravioli into the pan and cook for 3 minutes. They should rise to the top by the time they’re ready.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the butter to a large frying pan over a medium to high heat.
- Roughly chop the sage leaves and add them to the butter, frying until they become crisp. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- The pasta should be cooked at this point, so transfer it to the butter, mix well and devour. Buon appetito e buone feste!
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