Its a common misconception that homemade pasta is difficult to make and you don’t have to have a pasta machine (although they are inexpensive and fun!). Pasta is what I call ‘fun cooking’, you can make it with your other half, a friend or even children.
Mound the flour onto a large wooden or marble chopping board and make a well in the middle and crack in 4 eggs, followed by the oil and salt.
Beat the eggs with a fork until well mixed, then add the flour, a little at a time, as the eggs are beaten. Keep the flour mound from falling by supporting it with your hand, occasionally pushing it back into shape. As the mixture thickens, begin to blend in the remaining flour with your hands.
When all the flour has been blended into the dough, knead with the heel of your hand until the pasta is smooth and elastic. (This might take as long as 10 minutes.) Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Boil the spinach for approx 10 minutes. Drain the spinach, squeeze the liquid out. Add the spinach to the ricotta in a large bowl with an egg yolk, a pinch of nutmeg, teaspoon of salt and half a cup of fresh parmesan. Stir, and place in fridge to cool.
Remove the pasta from the cling film and start to knead it out onto a lightly floured surface. Then roll with a rolling pin until about 1 cm thick. If you have a round cutter use it or alternatively, use a knife to cut large squares.
For square ravioli - Place a teaspoon of the mix onto the square leaving plenty of space around the mixture and then place another square on top. Use a fork to bind the edges together, like you would with pastry.
For round ravioli – Place a teaspoon on one half leaving a gap round the edge and then fold the top over, binding with a fork.
Now boil a large pan of water with a pinch of salt. Once water has come to the boil add the ravioli. Remove after no more than 5 minutes.
Whilst the ravioli is cooking melt the butter in a pan with the sage until the butter turns light brown; be careful not to burn. Remove from the heat. Drain the ravioli, ideally put into a heated bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Add the hot butter and sage and toss gently, as the ravioli break easily.
Serve immediately. I like it with crusty white bread and a green salad but it can easily be eaten alone.
Tip: You must always eat fresh pasta as soon as its cooked though or it loses its texture.
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