RECIPE: Spinach and Cream Cheese Ravioli with a Garlic Mushroom Butter

 

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If you have started to make your own fresh pasta, then you may be looking for some ideas for meals you can make with your creation. I have recently got a pasta making machine and the first meal I wanted to create was a ravioli using some of our favourite family ingredients. I decided to make a cream cheese and spinach ravioli with a garlic mushroom butter and salad. It is relatively easy to make, just a bit fiddly. Here is how to make a cream cheese and spinach ravioli with a garlic mushroom butter.

Ingredients for Pasta

  • 10 oz/ 280 g pasta flour or plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 beaten egg for sealing the ravioli

Ingredients for the Spinach and Ricotta Filling

  • 250g tub of cream cheese
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach, chopped
  • Black pepper

Ingredients for Garlic Mushroom Butter

  • 6 button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 oz butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil

 

 

How to Make Fresh Pasta

  1. Measure out the flour and add the salt. Mix together.
  2. Tip the flour and salt onto the work surface in a heap and make a well in the middle.
  3. Add the eggs and the olive oil to the centre of the well.
  4. Start to bind the mixture together using your hand and working in a little more flour each time.
  5. When you have formed a solid ball of pasta dough, knead for five minutes.
  6. Wrap the dough in cling film and rest for 20 minutes.
  7. After resting, unwrap the dough and divide into four balls.
  8. Flour your work surface and dust the dough balls with flour.
  9. If you are using a rolling pin, then roll out the dough thinly. You should be able to see the work surface through the pasta.
  10. If you are using a pasta making machine. then press one ball of dough at a time into a rectangular shape with your hand.
  11. Set the pasta machine to its widest setting and roll one piece of pasta through at a time.
  12. Adjust the pasta machine down a few settings and repeat. Continue to do this until you are on the second to last setting of the machine. The pasta should then be thin enough.
  13. Cut the pasta into discs using a round cookie cutter or the end of a small tumbler glass.

How to Make the Cream Cheese and Spinach Filling

  1. Add the cream cheese to a saucepan over a medium heat and stir around until it begins to melt.
  2. Add the chopped spinach and stir through. This will almost immediately begin to wilt.
  3. Season with black pepper and then reduce to a low heat while you make the garlic mushroom butter.

How to Make the Garlic Mushroom Butter

  1. Add the olive oil and butter to a pan and put over a medium heat. The oil will help to stop the butter burning to the pan.
  2. Add the crushed garlic cloves and cook for a minute.
  3. Add the chopped button mushrooms to the pan and cook for a further five minutes. 

How to Make Cream Cheese and Spinach Ravioli

  1. Beat an egg in a cup and use a pastry brush to brush egg along the edges of the pasta discs. This will help the edges to stick together.
  2. Add a small teaspoon of the cream cheese and spinach mixture to the centre of each pasta discs. Be careful not to overfill or the ravioli will burst in the pan and water will get into the filling.
  3. Draw opposite edges of the pasta together and squeeze.
  4. Continue to pinch the edges together until the ravioli is sealed all the way around. 
  5. Add the ravioli to a pan of boiling salted water in small batches for approximately five minutes.
  6. Remove from the pan using a slatted spoon and ensure they are drained thoroughly. 

Serving 

  1. Dress the plates with your choice of salad ingredients.
  2. Add the cooked ravioli to the plate.
  3. Drizzle with the garlic mushroom butter.

 

 

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How to Make Fresh Pasta From Scratch

 

Although dried pasta is widely available from grocery stores, homemade pasta tastes so much better. Most people are put off making their own pasta as they believe it is time-consuming and difficult. This is wrong on both counts as it is quick and easy to make. It is certainly worth the effort of doing it yourself. Here is how to make fresh pasta from scratch yourself.

Ingredients for Pasta

  • 10 oz/ 280 g pasta flour or plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tsp salt

 

How to Make Fresh Pasta

  1. Measure out the flour and add the salt. Mix together.
  2. Tip the flour and salt onto the work surface in a heap and make a well in the middle.
  3. Add the eggs and the olive oil to the centre of the well.
  4. Start to bind the mixture together using your hand and working in a little more flour each time. 
  5. When you have formed a solid ball of pasta dough, knead for five minutes.
  6. Wrap the dough in cling film and rest for 20 minutes.
  7. After resting, unwrap the dough and divide into four balls.
  8. Flour your work surface and dust the dough balls with flour.
  9. If you are using a rolling pin, then roll out the dough thinly. You should be able to see the work surface through the pasta. 
  10. If you are using a pasta making machine. then press one ball of dough at a time into a rectangular shape with your hand.
  11. Set the pasta machine to its widest setting and roll one piece of pasta through at a time. 
  12. Adjust the pasta machine down a few settings and repeat. Continue to do this until you are on the second to last setting of the machine. The pasta should then be thin enough.
  13. You are now ready to cut the pasta into the shapes that you want to create your perfect pasta dish. 

 

 

Watch: How to Make Pasta

pasta

In my house, pasta is definitely a staple part of our diet. Not only is this because we love Italian food, it is also because it is such a versatile ingredient that you can include in such a wide variety of meals. Two further reasons we love pasta dishes is that it is a cheap food item and because it is so quick and simple to cook.

When I first had my own home, I would simply buy bags of dried pasta and use these in several dishes a week. However, once I realised how simple it was to make your own pasta and how much better it tastes, I started to make my own. While I have done this using a rolling pin to roll the pasta dough thinly for several years, I was recently lucky enough to receive the gift of a pasta making machine. This has quickly become my favorite kitchen gadget.

It occurred to me that there are many cooking novices out there who are not aware how good homemade pasta tastes and how simple it is to make. If this applies to you, then you may want to watch this quick tutorial to help you become a master pasta maker.