Best Sauce Pairings for Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine biting into a pillow-soft ravioli filled with creamy ricotta and fresh spinach, only to be greeted by a sauce that elevates it from simple to sublime. That’s the magic of the perfect sauce for spinach and ricotta ravioli. This dish, rooted in the rich culinary traditions of Italy, marries the freshness of dairy with the earthiness of greens, all enhanced by a complementary sauce that ties all the flavors together.

Crafting the ideal sauce for this ravioli isn’t just about mixing ingredients; it’s an art form. Whether you’re a fan of the classics, like a sage butter sauce or something adventurous like a creamy walnut sauce, the right choice can transform your meal into a memorable feast. Let’s dive into how you can create a sauce that’ll make your spinach and ricotta ravioli truly unforgettable.

Ingredients

To make your spinach and ricotta ravioli unforgettable, start by gathering all your ingredients for both the sauce and the ravioli itself.

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black integrity to taste
  • 1 package of pre-made ravioli shells or your homemade ravioli dough
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra flour for dusting

Required Tools and Equipment

To prepare the perfect sauce for your spinach and ricotta ravioli, gathering the right tools and equipment is essential. This ensures that your cooking process is smooth and efficient. Below is a list of necessary items to have on hand:

  • Heavy Bottomed Saucepan: Ideal for cooking both the sage butter sauce and creamy walnut sauce, a heavy-bottomed pan distributes heat evenly, preventing the ingredients from burning.
  • Blender or Food Processor: For making the creamy walnut sauce, you’ll need a blender or food processor to achieve a smooth, rich texture.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer: This tool is crucial when you want to assure a silky texture by removing any larger bits from the walnut sauce.
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon: Essential for stirring your sauces as they cook, ensuring that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Cheese Grater: A good quality cheese grater is a must for adding freshly grated Parmesan to your sauces for that extra touch of flavor.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Precision is key in cooking, so be sure to measure your ingredients accurately with these tools.
  • Kitchen Scale: Especially useful when dealing with ingredients like cheese and nuts, a kitchen scale ensures you’re using the exact quantities necessary for outstanding results.

With these tools at your disposal, you’re well on your way to creating a memorable sauce that will perfectly complement your homemade spinach and ricotta ravioli.

Prep Work

Preparing your sauce for spinach and ricotta ravioli begins with some essential groundwork. Let’s break down the steps for making both the ravioli filling and the dough.

Preparing the Spinach and Ricotta Filling

Start by washing the spinach thoroughly to remove any dirt or grit. After washing, blanch the spinach in boiling water for about 2 minutes before draining and squeezing out all the excess water. This step is crucial as it ensures the filling isn’t too wet, which could compromise the texture of your ravioli.

Next, finely chop the spinach. Then, in a mixing bowl, combine the chopped spinach with 1 cup of ricotta cheese. Season this mixture with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg to enhance the flavors. For added richness, stir in one beaten egg, which helps bind the filling and gives it a smooth consistency. Set this mixture aside while you prepare the ravioli dough.

Making the Ravioli Dough

To make the ravioli dough, measure 2 cups of all-purpose flour into a large mixing bowl. Create a well in the center and crack two large eggs into it. Add a pinch of salt. Using a fork, begin to beat the eggs while gradually incorporating the flour from the edges of the well into the center. Continue this process until the mixture starts forming a shaggy dough.

Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 8-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour as you knead. Once kneaded, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. This resting period allows the gluten in the dough to relax, making it easier to roll out and shape.

With your filling and dough ready, you’re well-prepared to assemble your spinach and ricotta ravioli.

Cooking Instructions

Ready your kitchen with the earlier mentioned tools and let’s get cooking! Follow these detailed steps to perfectly prepare your spinach and ricotta ravioli and the accompanying sauce.

Cooking the Ravioli

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While waiting, make sure your ravioli are separated and ready to be cooked.
  2. Carefully place ravioli in boiling water. Stir gently to prevent them from sticking together.
  3. Allow the ravioli to cook for about 4 to 6 minutes or until they float to the surface and are al dente.
  4. Remove ravioli using a slotted spoon and drain well. Optionally, reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water to adjust the sauce consistency later.
  5. Transfer cooked ravioli to a serving dish. Cover them lightly to keep warm.

Cooking the Sauce

1. For the Sage Butter Sauce:

    • Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.
    • Add 1/4 cup unsalted butter and let it melt slowly.
    • Once melted, add fresh sage leaves to the butter and let them fry gently until crisp and the butter has a nutty aroma.
    • Carefully pour the sage butter over the warm ravioli, ensuring each piece is coated.
    • Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

    2. For the Creamy Walnut Sauce:

      • In a blender or food processor, blend 1 cup walnuts until finely ground.
      • Heat a separate saucepan over medium heat and add the ground walopi with 1 cup of heavy cream, stirring constantly to combine.
      • Cook the mixture until it thickens slightly, about 5 to 7 minutes.
      • Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
      • Pour the creamy walnut sauce over the cooked ravioli and toss gently to coat every piece.
      • Sprinkle with chopped parsley as garnish.

      Assembling the Dish

      After you have prepared your ravioli and chosen sauce, it’s time to bring everything together to complete your gourmet meal. Assembling the dish is no less critical than the cooking process itself, as it impacts both presentation and flavor. Here’s how to do it successfully:

      Coating the Ravioli in Sauce

      1. Warm Your Sauce: First, reheat your chosen sauce (sage butter or creamy walnut) gently in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick or burn.
      2. Cook the Ravioli: While the sauce heats, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully add your ravioli and boil them until they float to the surface, indicating they are perfectly al dente, usually about 4-6 minutes.
      3. Combine Ravioli and Sauce: Using a slotted spoon, transfer your cooked ravioli directly from the boiling water to the saucepan with the warm sauce. This trick helps the sauce cling to the ravioli better by mixing some of the starchy pasta water with the sauce.
      4. Gently Toss: Toss the ravioli in the sauce gently with a wooden spoon or spatula to coat them evenly. Be gentle to avoid breaking the delicate pasta.

      Finishing Touches and Serving

      1. Add the Finishing Touches: After coating the ravioli in sauce, it’s time to add garnishes. If you’ve made the sage butter sauce, sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese and extra fried sage leaves on top. For the creamy walnut sauce, a handful of toasted, chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of chopped parsley can add wonderful texture and freshness.
      2. Plate Your Dish: Spoon the sauced ravioli onto plates, ensuring an equal distribution of ravioli and garnishes per serving.
      3. Serve Immediately: Ravioli is best served hot. Bring your completed dishes to the table promptly, and enjoy the rich flavors and creamy textures that you have expertly combined.

      Following these steps, you ensure each bite of your spinach and ricotta ravioli is as delightful as you intended.

      Serving Suggestions

      Once you’ve expertly prepared your spinach and ricotta ravioli and lovingly coated them in your sauce of choice, from the rich sage butter to the creamy walnut sauce, it’s time to think about how best to serve them. Presentation and accompaniments can elevate your meal from simply homemade to restaurant-quality.

      Plate Like a Pro

      Begin by selecting the right dish; a shallow bowl works well as it showcases the ravioli without them sliding around too much. Spoon a base layer of your sauce onto the dish, and arrange the ravioli on top, allowing the sauce to peek from underneath. This not only moistens the pasta but also ensures each bite is flavorful.

      Add Garnishes for Enhanced Flavors

      Garnishing is key to adding both flavor and aesthetic appeal. Consider a sprinkle of finely grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese which adds a nice salty bite. A pinch of freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes can introduce a subtle heat that complements the creaminess of the ricotta. For a touch of color and freshness, a few fresh basil leaves or a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil do wonders.

      Pair with Side Dishes

      To round out your meal, think about including a side that complements the richness of the ravioli. A crisp, green salad dressed lightly with a vinaigrette offers a refreshing contrast. For something heartier, garlic bread or a slice of crusty Italian bread serves as a great tool for mopping up any leftover sauce.

      Choose the Right Beverage

      The right beverage can enhance your dining experience. A light, crisp white wine like Pinot Grigio pairs beautifully with the creamy texture and subtle flavors of spinach and ricotta ravioli. If you prefer red, a smooth Chianti complements the richness without overpowering it.

      Serve everything promptly while the ravioli are warm and the sauces are velvety, ensuring a memorable dining experience right in your own home.

      Make-Ahead Instructions

      Preparing your sauce in advance can save you precious time in the kitchen and enhance the flavors of your dish. Here’s how you can make the sauce for your spinach and ricotta ravioli ahead of time, ensuring it’s ready to be heated and served when needed.

      Sage Butter Sauce

      1. Start by melting the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Once it begins to foam, add the sage leaves.
      2. Allow the sage to fry gently until the leaves become crisp and the butter obtains a golden-brown color. This will infuse the butter with a delightful sage aroma and flavor.
      3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the sauce cool. Strain the sage leaves out using a fine mesh strainer and pour the infused butter into a container that can be sealed.
      4. Store the sage butter sauce in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to use, gently reheat the sauce in a saucepan over low heat until it’s fluid and easy to combine with your cooked ravioli.

      Making and Storing Creamy Walnut Sauce

      1. Blend roasted walnuts in a food processor until they form a fine paste. Add heavy cream to the food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth.
      2. Pour the walnut cream mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat just until heated through, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
      3. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool. Once cooled, transfer it to an airtight container.
      4. The creamy walnut sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Warm the sauce on low heat, stirring constantly until it’s warm and smooth, ready to be draped over your delicious ravioli.

      Following these make-ahead instructions, you ensure that your sauces maintain their quality and are ready to elevate your spinach and ricotta ravioli whenever you decide to serve them. This approach not only streamlines your meal preparation but also allows the flavors to meld beautifully, resulting in a more delightful dish.

      Conclusion

      Now that you’ve got the scoop on crafting the perfect sauces for your spinach and ricotta ravioli, you’re all set to impress at your next dinner. Whether you choose the classic sage butter or venture into the creamy walnut, each sauce promises to complement your ravioli beautifully. Remember, a little prep goes a long way—making your sauces ahead can really enhance those flavors. So go ahead, give it a try. Your taste buds will thank you!

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