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Ricotta and Herb Ravioli

For spinach-ricotta ravioli, add 1/2 cup finely chopped cooked spinach to the cheese filling.

Ingredients:

  • Semolina flour for dusting 
  • 3 cups fresh ricotta cheese, homemade (see related recipe at left) or purchased
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten 
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
  • 1 tsp. plus 2 Tbs. kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 1 lb. fresh pasta sheets, homemade (see related recipe at left) or purchased 
  • 4 cups warm tomato-basil sauce, homemade (see related recipe at left) or purchased

Directions:

Dust 2 rimmed baking sheets with semolina flour.

In a bowl, stir together the ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, egg and parsley. Add the 1 tsp. salt and a few grindings of pepper and mix well. Lightly flour a work surface and lay a pasta sheet on it. Dot the sheet with evenly spaced heaping teaspoons of the cheese mixture, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart. Using your fingertip, dampen the edges of the sheet and the spaces between the mounds with water. Lay a second pasta sheet of the same size on top. Starting at the edge of the filling, press outward from each mound to remove any trapped air and seal the pasta. Using a sharp knife, cut the ravioli into 2-inch squares, trimming away any ragged edges.

Place the ravioli on the prepared pan. Cover with a dish towel and repeat with the remaining filling and pasta sheets. Pasta scraps can be saved and cooked separately or discarded. Uncooked ravioli can be frozen directly on the pan. Once frozen, transfer them to sealable plastic freezer bags and use within 3 months.

Fill a large pot three-fourths full of water and place over high heat. When it comes to a boil, add the 2 Tbs. salt. Carefully drop half of the ravioli into the boiling water. When the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until tender, about 2 minutes. Using a skimmer, transfer to a warmed large, shallow bowl and spoon about 1 cup of the sauce over the top. Keep warm. Cook the remaining ravioli the same way and add to the bowl. Spoon the remaining 3 cups sauce over the top, toss gently and serve immediately, passing grated Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table. Makes about sixty 2-inch square ravioli; serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Family Meals, by Maria Helm Sinskey (Oxmoor House, 2008).