Beef and Spinach Ravioli (Photo and recipe By Maria Desiderata Montana)
Beef and Spinach Ravioli Recipe
Makes 8-10 servings
For the ravioli dough
9 large eggs (reserve two eggs for egg wash)
4 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
All-purpose flour, for dusting
In a mixer, beat the eggs and olive oil until foamy. Change to a dough hook, add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until it forms a ball. On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
FOR THE FILLING
2 pounds raw, lean ground beef
9 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 cups Italian bread crumbs
5 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 10-ounce package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained of excess water.
Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and incorporate thoroughly.
To make the ravioli: Divide dough in half. On a floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a 24-by-24-inch sheet about ¼-inch thick. In a small bowl, prepare egg wash by beating the remaining 2 eggs until foamy. Brush egg wash evenly over one entire sheet, then carefully spread the meat filling evenly over the top. Place the other sheet on top of the sheet with the meat mixture and press down on the edges with your fingers to create a seal. Generously dust flour over the top of the sheet (this helps the dough from sticking to the ravioli roller).
With a wooden ravioli roller, carefully roll over the dough from edge to edge, applying gentle pressure to ensure the two dough sheets connect to make the squares. Cut each square with a ravioli cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap and dusted with flour (this keeps the ravioli from sticking). Repeat with plastic wrap and flour as needed. Cover ravioli and place in freezer. Once frozen, remove ravioli squares from baking sheet and place in resealable freezer-safe plastic bags. No need to thaw frozen ravioli before cooking. Gently place ravioli in a large pot of salted boiling water and cook on medium to medium-high heat for approximately 35-40 minutes (see note) or until meat inside is thoroughly cooked. Ravioli will expand and float to the top, so be sure to use a pot with plenty of room. Remove ravioli with a strainer or slotted spoon and serve with your favorite jar of marinara sauce or my marinara (see recipe). Top with grated Pecorino Romano Cheese.
Note: Fresh ravioli take a little less time to cook, approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until meat inside is thoroughly cooked.
Maria’s Marinara Sauce
Makes 8-10 servings
12 medium-size ripe tomatoes, roasted (directions follow)
2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
Red wine (optional)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Chicken seasoning, to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
6 bay leaves
3 tablespoons dried basil
3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon fennel seeds (optional)
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Arrange the tomatoes on the sheet pan and roast for 30 to 35 minutes. When tomatoes have cooled, remove peel, core and purée in small batches in a blender. Transfer tomato purée to a large saucepan. Bring to a slow boil and add tomato paste. Using a whisk, add water until you reach desired consistency. (I like to substitute a bit of red wine for some of the water). Add remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat covered for about 25 to 30 minutes.