For Christmas this year, I was so excited to receive a pasta roller. I had always wanted to make my own pasta from scratch, (and I have before), but it can be so tricky to get the pasta thin enough to make something a little more complex like ravioli. This was my first time experimenting with my Christmas present, but I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised with how DELICIOUS this ravioli turned out to be! I will admit that this recipe was a bit time consuming to make, but for those of you who are looking for a good recipe for a special occasion, or if you just want to make a yummy home-cooked meal for your family, this dish is delicious.
What I love most about this recipe is that it uses plenty of fresh herbs, spinach, and garlic. The combined flavors from the fresh ingredients and the cheeses are mouth watering on their own without much added salt for flavoring. Sure, this recipe definitely has some added sodium coming from all of the cheese along with the dash of added salt for the dough, but regardless, when you are making food from scratch, YOU have more control over your ingredients. On average, most commercial spinach and cheese ravioli pastas contain somewhere between 500-1000 mg of sodium per serving, while this recipe yields only 273 mg per serving.
As a Nutrition & Dietetics Technician, Registered in the hospital setting, when I am asked to provide a patient with a low-sodium diet instruction, I like to tell people that one of the biggest impacts a person can make in their diet is to prepare as much of their food from scratch as possible, while avoiding excessive salt-shaker use at the dinner table. Most of the the fast foods, pre-packaged meals, frozen meals, etc. are LOADED with extra salt, preservatives, and other added ingredients so they can sit on the shelf for a long period of time.
Here’s a challenge for you: Cook at least 1 more home-cooked meal using fresh ingredients for yourself this week, instead of going out to a restaurant. I bet it will be delicious! 🙂
Ingredients for the Pasta:
- 1 cup of whole wheat flour
- 1 cup of white flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 cup of freshly minced basil
- A dash of salt
- 3 Tbsp. water (as needed, if dough becomes dry)
Ingredients for the Filling:
- 4 packed cups of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of freshly minced garlic
- 12 oz. Ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp. freshly minced basil
- 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- salt / pepper per preference
- a drizzle of olive oil
- Pasta roller (recommended)
- 3 inch square cut-out for shaping the ravioli
(I used a small square container to “stamp” out the shape for the ravioli)
- In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the pasta, except for the water. Stir ingredients well using a rubber scraper, taking care to include any excess flour that may stick onto the sides of the bowl. Add 1 Tbsp. of water at a time to help if the dough is too dry, as needed. You will eventually form a medium-sized dough ball.
- Transfer the dough ball onto a cutting board that has been sprinkled with a small amount of flour. Knead the pasta dough for about 10 minutes, or until the dough has become smooth, elastic, but still slightly tacky. Cut the dough into fourths, and let each section rest in your refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Hint: You can proceed to step 4 to begin preparing the pasta filling while you wait for your dough to rest!
- Once the dough has finished resting, it will be ready for rolling. I highly recommend using a pasta roller in order to easily achieve a thin enough dough to make the ravioli, but if you don’t have one, just roll the dough out the best you can using a rolling pin. Regardless of the method you use for rolling the dough, you will be trying to achieve a paper-thin sheet of pasta.
- To prepare the filling, begin by heating up about 1 Tbsp. of Olive oil over a medium-high heat in a medium-sized frying pan. Once the oil has been heated, add the freshly minced garlic. Once the garlic begins to brown, add the freshly chopped spinach to the pan. Stir the spinach occasionally for about 3 minutes, or until the leaves begin to wilt. The amount of spinach will be reduced by about half. Remove the spinach and garlic from heat, and allow them to cool.
- Next, use a medium-sized bowl to combine all remaining ingredients listed under the filling section, including the spinach and garlic.
For those who have jumped ahead while waiting for your pasta to rest, set the filling aside in the refrigerator for now, until you have completed step 3.
- By this step you should have your pasta sheet(s), and your filling ready. You can begin by taking your square shaped cut-out shape to “stamp” the pasta dough, almost as if you are making cut-out-cookies. (See the picture below) Cut out small squares throughout all of your dough, and set the squares aside on parchment paper.
Hint: I used the edges of a square storage container to cut the outline for my ravioli. Use whatever you have available. You can make the square as large or small as you please!
7. Next, take your filling out of the refrigerator. Place about 1 teaspoon of filling onto the center of one square, taking care to avoid getting filling near the edges of the square. Then, take a second square, and gently place it over the top of your first square. Use your fingers to gently press the top square over the four corners of your bottom square to create a small “seal”. Finally, take a fork and press it along the entire edge of the ravioli square, to seal the pasta. Use the fork to seal both the top and bottom of the ravioli. See pictures below.
8. Repeat this filling / sealing process with all squares. You can also roll out the extra dough from the discarded cut-out edges to reduce your food waste!
9. Finally, to cook your ravioli, add a generous amount of water to a large pot. Bring to a boil. Add your ravioli, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the ravioli begins to float to the surface. I recommend using a slotted spoon to scoop out your ravioli for serving, as they are fairly delicate. Serve the ravioli with your favorite sauce, OR what I like to do is drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top, and top with some fresh parmesan. Enjoy!!!
|Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli
Portions: 7 ravioli pieces per serving (about 1 cup)
|Food Groups||Amount Per Portion|
|Whole Grains||1 ounce(s)|
|Refined Grains||1 ounce(s)|
|Dark Green||¼ cup(s)|
|Protein Foods||½ ounce(s)|
|Meat, Poultry & Eggs||½ ounce(s)|
|Calories||Amount Per Portion|
|Total Calories||300 Calories|
|Nutrients||Amount Per Portion|
|Dietary Fiber||3 g|
|Total Sugars||1 g|
|Added Sugars||0 g|
|Total Fat||12 g|
|Saturated Fat||5 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||4 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||1 g|
|Linoleic Acid||1 g|
|α-Linolenic Acid||0.1 g|
|Omega 3 – EPA||0 mg|
|Omega 3 – DHA||15 mg|
|Minerals||Amount Per Portion|
|Vitamins||Amount Per Portion|
|Vitamin A||215 µg RAE|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 mg|
|Vitamin B12||0.7 µg|
|Vitamin C||6 mg|
|Vitamin D||1 µg|
|Vitamin E||1 mg AT|
|Vitamin K||111 µg|
|Folate||117 µg DFE|