Ravioli di Rapallo

ITALIAN PASTA FILLED WITH CHEESE, SPINACH AND EGG WITH WALNUT SAUCE

Ravioli di Rapallo (rah-vch-ohlay dee rah-pah-loh) is a popular regional dish oj Italy. The creamy walnut sauce blends well with the flavours of the cheese and spinach.

6 SERVINGS SAUCE

6 oz. walnuts, finely chopped

2 oz. cashew nuts, finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon water

4 oz. ricotta cheese

3 tablespoons olive oil

6 tablespoons single cream

2 oz. Pecorino cheese, finely grated

4 fl. oz. milk

FILLING

2 oz. butter

4 oz. fresh spinach, cooked, drained and finely chopped or

4 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and chopped

6 oz. ricotta cheese

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped -½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper :’ teaspoon grated nutmeg § teaspoon ground saffron

PASTA

12 oz. bought or home-made ravioli pasta, rolled out INTO 2 thin sheets

First make the sauce. Place the walnuts, cashew nuts, oregano, salt and water in a mortar or small bowl. Using a pestle or fork, mash the ingredients to a smooth paste. Add the ricotta cheese, olive oil and cream to the mixture and continue to mash until the mixture has a creamy texture. Stir in the Pecorino cheese and milk and transfer the mixture to a small saucepan.

Alternatively, blend the ingredients together in an electric blender. Place the pan over low heat and gently heat the sauce, stirring occasionally, until it is hot but not boiling. Remove the pan from the heat. Set aside and keep warm.

To make the filling, in a large frying-pan melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the spinach and cook for 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the spinach to a plate. Set aside.

Put the ricotta cheese in a medium-sized bowl and mash it with the back of a wooden spoon until it is smooth. Add the reserved spinach, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and saffron and stir well to mix. The filling is now ready to use.

Fill, cook and drain the ravioli according to the instructions in the basic recipe. Reheat the walnut sauce until it is hot. Transfer the ravioli to a warmed serving dish and pour over the walnut sauce. Stir them gently together and serve imme-diately.

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