Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Roll

Making fresh pasta is creative and helps us hone our skills and our ability to transform ingredients. And it is rewarding: everybody likes pasta. We know, it takes time setting the machine, rolling out the dough and cleaning everything afterwards and that includes cleaning your shoes after you've smothered inadvertently with flour... But no need to rush: when we make pasta, we release the pressure of life and simply enjoy what we do.

Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Roll is a perfect introduction to the delights of pasta-making. 

Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Roll

For the fresh pasta:
200 g white flour
2 large eggs
A pinch of salt
For the filling:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
750 g fresh spinach, washed
250 g ricotta
Freshly ground nutmeg
2 generous tablespoons of pine nuts
60 g freshly grated Parmesan
60 g freshly grated pecorino
1 large egg
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
400 g tomato passata
Sea salt
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan to serve

Serves 7 to 8
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 120 minutes

  • Place pasta ingredients in a food processor and pulse for few seconds to make compact dough.
  • Knead for 1 minute until it becomes smooth and firm.
  • Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  • Heat a small frying pan and sauté the pine nuts for 5 minutes, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until evenly golden. Transfer to a bowl. Once cool, roughly ground them in a food processor.
  • In a frying pan, heat the oil and sauté the onion for 10 minutes on low heat, until translucent. Add the spinach and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until dry. Season with salt.
  • Transfer the spinach onto a chopping board and chop finely.
  • In a large bowl, combine the spinach with ricotta, grated cheeses, egg, pine nuts, nutmeg and black pepper.

Preparing the roll

·      Divide the dough into 4 pieces and leave 3 of them wrapped in cling film, not to dry.
·   Using a hand held pasta machine, you will run the dough through the wider opening for  2 to 3 times, until perfectly smooth and elastic.
·   Now set the machine onto the medium setting and again roll until smooth.
·    Finally, place on the setting before the finest and lay the ready sheet on a floured surface.
  • Cut the pasta sheets into 6 pieces the length of 20 cm.  Seal them in pair in the middle of the long side, pressing with your fingers. You will get 3 rectangles 20cm x 26cm.
  • Using a spatula, spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving 2 cm border. Roll up the dough on the short side of the rectangle, like a Swiss roll. Seal the end.
  • Wrap it in parchment securing ends with a tight twist. Wrap again in foil.
  • Place the rolls in a pan big enough to hold them. Cover with boiling water from the kettle. Simmer for 1 hour. The rolls must always be covered with water. Add boiling water if necessary.
  • Remove the rolls from the water and leaven to cool.

Preparing the tomato sauce
  • Heat the oil and sauté the garlic for 1 minute. Add passata and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt.

Serving the roll
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Remove the foil and parchment from the roll. Arrange it on a chopping board and cut it into 2 cm thick slices. Place slightly overlapping in a buttered ovenproof dish. Pour the passata over, cover with foil and bake for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the foil, sprinkle with Parmesan and serve at once.

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