Ravioli di Magro
Ravioli Ricotta and Spinach with Butter and Sage
“Magro” means skinny or better yet without fat. This is a term that is strictly tied to the period of Quaresima or Lent here in the US. This is the period is the 40 days immediately following Carnivale and before Easter. During the period of Lent faithful offer acts of contrition and prepare themselves through sacrifice for the Easter. During this period even the food is less exuberant. No meat, limited drinking and a lot of time in penance. The term magro has also been used to define foods that can be eaten on Good Friday, that is every Friday and not because the next day is Saturday, but because it is believed that Christ died on Friday.
I Ravioli di Magro, are different from region to region. In Genova Magro is Ricotta, Parsley and other herbs. In the area around Bologna it is strictly Ricotta while in Milan it is Ricotta, Spinach and Parsley. Some families from Milan will also add Parmesan cheese. No matter how you fill the Ravioli, Tortellini, Agnellotti, or other form, pasta di Magro is great for combining with flavorful sauces.
My favorite is made with Ricotta and Spinach.
500 grams Fresh Spinach
200 grams Ricotta
100 grams Parmesan cheese finely grated
400 grams of Fresh Pasta (4 egg version)
100 grams (1 stick) Butter
10-15 leaves of Fresh Sage
Rinse and boil, in little water, for 8 minutes the spinach. Drain and squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Chop to reduce as much as possible. Place ½ stick of butter with the spinach in a skillet and sauté for about 5 minutes with salt, pepper and several turns of nutmeg. When cooled mix together the spinach, ricotta, eggs and ½ the Parmesan cheese. If the filling appears to be too moist add Parmesan cheese to get the desired consistency.
The egg pasta should be rolled to about the number 5 setting. This is relatively thin but not transparent. Place a sheet of pasta on the table and cut 1 ½ inch squares. Place about a teaspoon of the filling in the center of a square. Place another square on top and press the sides of the squares together to fuse the pasta together making a tight seal. If the pasta has dried you can brush with a little water or egg wash to make the seal easier to accomplish.
As each ravioli is prepared place on a floured pan or floured wax paper. If the spinach retained too much water the pasta on the bottom side will become soft and may break so be sure to use a floured surface. This will help absorb excess humidity.
Cook in abundant boiling salted water for 7-8 minutes. Remove the ravioli from the boiling water, drain and place in casserole dish.
Place the remaining butter and the sage in a skillet and sauté for about 4 minutes with a little salt and pepper. Finally pour the butter and sage over the ravioli and distribute the remaining Parmesan cheese evenly across the top.
Tags: Ravioli Fresh Pasta Ricotta Magro Gourmet Food Italian Recipes Food and Wine Travel Italy