Ravioli with ricotta and tomato sauce

We all love Italian pasta, right? It’s so light, full of flavor, simple, addictive, and to me it’s still one of the cuisines that pulls off vegetarian food most effortlessly and naturally. This recipe from delicious. magazine has become one of my personal favorites. It’s not difficult to make, but filling the ravioli will take some time (it’s very much worth it though!). I started out with my ravioli stamp but soon switched to making cut-outs by hand, because this is faster. There’s only one piece of equipment you really need and that’s a pasta machine. It’s possible to roll out the pasta by hand, but it will never be as fine as the machine-made.

Ingredients for 4 people:

for the pasta:
400 grams of ‘tipo 00’ flour (gran duro: it’s also possible to use regular flour but this kind is better for pasta, you can find it at Italian supermarkets)
4 eggs

for the filling:

250 grams of ricotta
the grated zest of one organic lemon (or at least a non-chemically-treated lemon)
a pinch of sugar
a pinch of salt
freshly ground pepper

for the sauce:

olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
garlic clove, chopped
one can of whole peeled tomatoes (or canned cherry tomatoes)
a dash of white wine
small can of tomato passata
note: I made this in February, and I try not to use fresh tomatoes in Winter since they’re just not tasty. If you’re making this in Summer, please use real sun-ripened ones!


chopped flatleaf parsley
grated parmesan cheese

How to:

Start with the pasta. Put the flour in a bowl, make a cup and add the eggs. Mix with a fork and then with your hands until you have a coarse dough. Take it out of the bowl and knead the dough for at least 10 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic (when I get tired I try to see this as a good work out). Wrap it in plastic foil and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.

Make the filling by mixing all the ingredients.

Make the sauce at least 20 minutes before serving, to give it time to simmer. Heat the olive oil in a sturdy saucepan and fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the canned or fresh tomatoes. Heat the tomatoes and add some white wine. Let this simmer for a while and add the passata. Season to taste with salt and pepper.┬áLet it simmer on a low fire until you have a tasty sauce. At this point, I ‘cheated’ and added a bit of leftover Barilla pasta sauce that I had in the fridge. Of course, you’re free to use your own preferred tomato sauce recipe, but simplicity is key.

Assemble the ravioli while the sauce is simmering. Fill a large saucepan with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil while making the ravioli (one of those pans with an extra ‘colander’ piece is ideal, because you can make several batches of pasta without refreshing the water each time, but a slotted spoon or pasta spoon works fine too). Roll out the pasta with a machine (or by hand), start with a third of the pasta dough. Position the machine at its widest and turn the dough through, fold double and repeat. Keep making the sizes smaller and rolling the dough through twice until you’re at the finest position. Make equal squares or rectangles of the rolled-out dough. I made 5×7 cm, but smaller will work as well. Put a teaspoon of filling on half of the rectangles, then cover with a second rectangle and press carefully, excluding as much air as possible. Finish the edges by impressing them with a fork. Repeat for all of the dough. Boil the ravioli in batches for 3-5 minutes (until they come floating on top) and take them out of the water. Add the pasta to the tomato sauce and mix carefully. Arrange on a plate and top with parsley and parmesan. Enjoy!

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