Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Recipe: Spinach and ricotta raviolo with walnut pesto and a cream and basil sauce

Spinach and ricotta raviolo with walnut pesto and a cream and basil sauce

Bring a touch of MasterChef to your kitchen with these brilliant contestants’ creations.

Devised by Chris Gates, finalist in 2009

What you'll need

For the pasta

150g flour, plus extra to dust

350g semolina flour

2 large eggs

10 egg yolks

For the filling

20g butter

200g spinach

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

350g ricotta or soft goat’s cheese

Grated zest of 1 lemon

For the pesto

30g walnuts

1 bunch of basil

1 garlic clove, chopped

25g parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Olive oil

For the sauce

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

500ml (16fl oz) double cream

Juice of 1 lemon

To make the pasta, blitz all the ingredients in a food processor until you have a mixture the consistency of breadcrumbs. Empty onto a floured surface and knead into a silky dough. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for about one hour. Meanwhile, make the filling. Melt the butter in a large pan and wilt the spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze out any water and place in a bowl. Add the ricotta and lemon zest and season to taste.

For the pesto, toast the walnuts in a dry pan. Using a pestle and mortar, break them up with the garlic and basil leaves, reserving the stalks. Add the parmesan, loosen with oil, and season.

For the cream sauce, sauté the chopped shallot in a pan with the oil until softened. Add the reserved basil stalks and soften for 3-4 minutes. Add the cream and allow to reduce slightly. Season with salt and pepper and add the lemon juice.

Using a pasta machine, roll out the pasta to the thinnest setting. Make two rectangular dough sheets. Place scoops of the filling on top of the first dough sheet at intervals about 5cm apart. Brush round the filling with a little water and top with the second sheet of dough. Using your fingers, press round the filling to remove any air. Cut out the ravioli, using a fluted pastry cutter about 5cm (2in) in diameter.

Cook the ravioli in boiling salted water for about five minutes. Drain and serve on warm plates with the cream sauce and pesto spooned over and a scattering of basil leaves as a garnish.

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