My favourite pasta dish EVER ! This is the dish that I would crave the most and the one that would make me feel at home
A wholesome, fresh and super tasty recipe and an ideal alternative to meat or ricotta ravioli. The potato filling makes the whole dish a perfect main course! This is a recipe that I learned from my Mamma and it took me a long time to “master” the fiddly dumping shape ( although I still don’t think I have completely mastered it)
As a child I loved making this delicious recipe and as well as kneading the dough I would help rolling the filling into small balls and ….. secretly eat them, I can still remember what they tasted like 🙂 …
In Italian we say:
FARE LA PASTA /FAH-REH LAH PASH-STAH/ = making pasta (verb + feminine noun)
Filling : Peel the potatoes and cut them in small chunks. Boil them until soft, put them into a large bowl and mash them until creamy and smooth. In a small pan put the olive oil, the spring onion finely chopped and the garlic clove. Put it on the heat until simmering. Take the pan off the heat and the mint. Let the oil cool down. Take the garlic out and pour the oil in the mash, add the grated parmesan and a pinch of salt. Stir it until soft and smooth. Add some more salt if needed. Pasta: Place the flour and the semolina on a board or in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add some water and mix it together Once it is all combined, knead until you have a silky, smooth, elastic dough. You are aiming to achieve a play dough texture. If your dough is crumbly (too dry) add a teaspoon of water. If the dough sticks to your hands (too wet) add a little extra flour or semolina. Cover with cling film and rest for 30 minutes. Take a tennis ball-sized amount of dough, squash it flat with your fingers, push it through the pasta roller on the widest setting. Fold into thirds, then repeat 3 times. Once you have a rough square shape, start working it through the machine, taking it down one setting at a time, until the thinnest setting. You should end up with a long sheet of pasta about 8-10cm wide. Place this on a flat surface with flour underneath to stop it from sticking. Use a circular cutter (8/10 cm diameter) or a glass of the same size.
Gently press the mould in the pasta to form lots of round shapes. Place about a small ball of filling into each circle and very gently try closing each dumpling in the shape of drop. Please watch the video for the tutorial, hope it will be helpful 🙂
Make as many ravioli/dumplings as possible, using up all the filling and the dough. In a large saucepan bring 1/1.5l water to the boil and add a table spoon of coarse salt. As the water is boiling gently place your ravioli into the water, 5 at the time. They will cook pretty quickly ( as soon as they floating you know they are cooked). Use a small colander to get the out and gently place them on a serving dish. Sauce: In a large pan put the olive oil, the onion and some of the basil. Put it on the heat until simmering. Add the passata, a pinch of salt and cover with a lid, cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the basil before serving. Now pour the sauce on your ravioli , sprinkle some parmesan and enjoy !!!
Ciao atutti!I hope everyone is well and safe during this difficult time where we need to support and help each other to face probably one of the most challenging times we have ever experienced.Once, I heard my Nonna saying that Food is LOVE made visible and of course, it is also the main ingredient of our meals. I hope today I managed to “hug” you and share some AMORE with this dish 🙂 This recipe is inspired by someone truly amazing, a fighter whose energy and positivity are infectious, she is one of a kind and I wanted to share my support by doing a dish that is full of goodness and nutrients, a combination of healthy ingredients to help her fight the biggest battle.Due to a shortage of food I created this dish using what we found in the supermarkets so you can swap some of the ingredients if you needto.
Beautiful and fresh for lunch and dinner, this is perfect to eat hot or cold 🙂
150g Kale, finely chopped (or Greens)
150g Cavolo Nero, finely chopped (if cavolo nero is not available in the shop you can use Spinach)
1 garlic clove, halved ( take the core out to prevent indigestion)
Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley (or Rocket)
Handful of fresh basil
Handful of nuts (pine nuts are traditionally used in Pesto but any type of nuts will be just fine)
4 to 6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil ( a good quality)
250g Pasta (Short type like Penne, Fusilli…)
1.Bring 1 to 1.5 lt of water to a boil in a large sauce pan.
Add a tablespoon of course salt into the water as it’s starting to boil, pour the kale and the cavolo nero in and cook for 5 minutes.
If you are using spinach, don’t add it into the water as we’ll eat it raw.
Have a hand blender ready. Add to the blender the spinach, basil, parsley, garlic, nuts, olive oil (4 tbs to start with, you can add some more if the paste is too thick), salt and a sprinkle of parmesan. Wiz everything up until the ingredients are all evenly mixed.
Drain half of the cavolo nero and kale, add it into the blender and mix into the paste.
Keep the rest of the cavolo nero and kale still in the water and add the pasta in. The pasta will cook nicely in the same water absorbing the properties of the vegetables.
Cook your pasta following the time given on the packet but don’t over cook ( we like our pasta to be Al Dente)
Drain the pasta together with the cavolo nero and the kale, place it on a large serving dish, add the green paste and mix.
Sprinkle some parmesan and enjoy…. BUON APPETITO 🙂
This wholesome recipe brings back some of my childhood memories, I am lucky I am able to share them with my children
Have you thought how much food can have an impact on your memory? The taste, smell, and texture of food can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back memories not just of eating food itself but also of places and settings. Food is an effective trigger of deeper memories of feelings and emotions, internal states of the mind and body.
We all have food memories and this recipe from my Nonna brings back some of mine…..
…. I grew up on the island of Sardinia coming from quite a large family with lots uncles, aunts and cousins. We all lived very close and our family life was ruled by traditional meals and wholesome food. I learned to cook from an early age, cooking was like a game for us children, some days instead of playing with dolls, we used rolling pins and wooden spoons …. BEI TEMPI! Good old times !!
I was around 7 years old when on a sunny afternoon after school I helped my Nonna make Ravioli for the first time. Making Ravioli was (and still is in our family) a proper gathering, so all my cousins, aunts ( and uncles too) would be there to help Nonna… actually Nonna would make it very clear that she was in charge and that everyone had to follow her instructions. Apparently I was spending more time in tasting the filling and playing with that edible play dough than kneading the dough and filling the pasta. For a little girl that was all that mattered at the time! and that recipe is a memory that I will treasure forever.
My Nonna Pasqualina /PAH-SKOO-AH-LEE-NAH/ was born on 11th April 1922 in small town called Bolotana
She was recently interviewed about her healthy life style and upbringing in Sardinia, at 96 years old she is still an inspiration for all of us and we can only look up to her and learn lessons on the way she lives her life ❤️ Grazie Nonna
You can read her beautiful story all in Italian in Chentannos. Thanks to the amazing Laura Mele for bringing back the memories of the centenarians in Sardinia.
Mix the ricotta cheese and the parsley. Add the lemon zest and salt. mix all. Stir it until soft and smooth. Add some more salt if needed.
Place the flour and the semolina on a board or in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add some water and mix it together
Once it is all combined, knead until you have a silky, smooth, elastic dough. You are aiming to achieve a play dough texture.
If your dough is crumbly (too dry) add a teaspoon of water. If the dough sticks to your hands (too wet) add a little extra flour or semolina. Cover with cling film and rest for 30 minutes.
Take a tennis ball-sized amount of dough, squash it flat with your fingers, push it through the pasta roller on the widest setting. Fold into thirds, then repeat 3 times. Once you have a rough square shape, start working it through the machine, taking it down one setting at a time, until the thinnest setting.
You should end up with a long sheet of pasta about 8-10cm wide. Place this on a flat surface with flour underneath to stop it from sticking.
Flour the ravioli mould and place one sheet of pasta over the ravioli maker. Gently press the pasta into the depressions of the mould to form cups. Place about a tablespoon of filling into each pocket
Place another sheet of pasta over the ravioli filling. Use a rolling pin to press the two layers of pasta together. Start with gentle pressure to press out any air and to form a seal. Then use more pressure to cut the pasta into individual ravioli. Peel off excess dough from around the ravioli. Turn the ravioli maker over and give the mould a shake. The ravioli should easily fall out of the mould. Dust the ravioli with some flour so they won’t stick together. In a large saucepan bring 1/1.5l water to the boil and add a table spoon of coarse salt. As the water is boiling gently place your ravioli into the water, 5 at the time. They will cook pretty quickly ( as soon as they floating you know they are cooked). Use a small colander to get the out and gently place them on a serving dish.
In a large pan put the olive oil, the onion and some of the basil. Put it on the heat until simmering. Add the passata, a pinch of salt and cover with a lid, cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the basil before serving.
Now pour the sauce on your ravioli , sprinkle some parmesan and enjoy !!!
This is the Italian Sunday dish, the celebration dish, the dinner party dish, the dish that will feed up to 10 people in one go, the dish that all Italian Mums make with or without a reason, the dish you can make the day before and still tastes delicious the next day, hot or cold. Right! and this is my very dish, recreated with the ingredients that you can find in any English supermarket. It is important for me to keep my Italian origins whilst I am cooking and using Italian produce is essential. However I found that sometimes we can swap parmesan cheese (quite dear) for cheddar cheese and have almost the same result……….I said “almost” as, if my Nonna knew I am using cheddar instead of parmesan, she would not be very impressed!!!!!
but Hey ! sometimes it’s ok to make exceptions, isn’t it?
Serving 8 people
Ingredients for the Ragu’ sauce ( Bolognese sauce)
5/6 medium carrots
5/6 celery sticks
half of a white onion
2 cloves of garlic
500g mince meat (good quality)
2 bottles of tomato passata
1 teaspoon of sage (fresh or dry)
or 1 handful of rosemary (fresh or dry)
1 pinch of salt
3 tbsp of olive oil
Blend the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the “soffritto” (the onions, celery, carrots and garlic) and sweat over a medium heat until the vegetables are soft but not browned, (about 10 to 15 minutes). Add the mince and stir into the vegetables. Cook the mince until it is completely cooked. Add the tomato passata, rosemary and sage and simmer over medium-low heat for 25 /30 minutes. Season with salt and taste, remove from the heat.
Ingredients for the Besciamelle sauce
150g flour (plain)
salt, a pinch
1 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
150g cheddar cheese, grated
In a deep non stick pan heat the butter on a low/medium heat and gently melt it. Add the flour little by little keeping stirring with a wooden spoon. Once you have used all the flour start adding the milk, little by little and keep stirring. You should get a a very smooth mixture and by adding the milk the mixture will become smoother and runnier. Make sure you keep stirring it as it could easily stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the salt and the nutmeg. Gradually mix the cheese and stir it gently. Your besciamelle sauce is coming together! It should not be too runny or too thick! If it feels too runny, bring it to the boil and keep stirring it until it thickens up. If it’s too thick, add more milk little by little until it feels creamy and soft.
Now you are ready to assemble your Lasagna!
I would use pre packed Lasagna sheets, unless of course I made my own one (next time I will write about making your own spinach Lasagna sheets!). Any good quality Lasagna sheets are ok to use and you can find them in any supermarket. You will need 2/3 sheets per layer…5 layers is plenty!
In a large tray place 2/3 sheets of lasagna (depending on the size) on the bottom and pour on some of the ragu’. Gently pour some besciamelle sauce and with a spoon spread the sauce all over the lasagna sheets. Take another 2/3 sheets and place them on top forming another layer. Pour the ragu’ and the besciamelle on top. Repeat this 4/5 times depending on how many layers you want or until you run out of sauce! I would make a mini lasagna for my little one using a smaller dish, it tastes as good as the big one and it looks great! Kids love being spoilt and this is a great way to make them feel special at dinner time.
Dust your Lasagna with some grated parmesan cheese or cheddar and place it into a preheated oven at 200 degrees (190 fan oven) for 20/22 minutes. A good test to check if the Lasagna is cooked through is to put a knife in, if it is soft all the way through your Lasagna is ready. Pronto!