I haven’t had home-made ravioli in years! Making them is just so easy, so there’s really no excuse!
My mother lives with us in the Carolina’s during the cold, harsh winters of Iowa . . . and with her this year, she brought some frozen Swiss Chard grown in my cousin, Jackie’s garden of perfection! If you could only see what grows in that garden of hers every year . . . she totally puts mine to shame!
So ravioli is on my ‘must-make’ list of recipes this winter.
For our Super Bowl spread that is!
My mother has really been enjoying this ‘blogging’ and ‘instagram’ thing. She is an extraordinary Italian cook and is happiest in her ‘cucina’. So she’s been really getting into this, just saying to me a few weeks ago, “So Roz, what are we going to do for the Super Bowl spread this year?”
Beginning with a discussion of making “easy, simple-to-put-toegether, small appetizers”, we somehow ended up deciding that we’re going to have home-made ravioli . . .
Home-made Ravioli for the SUPER BOWL?
Who else, but my mother, would decide to go that far?
But hey, who’s complaining? Not me! This is my favorite filled pasta! And I don’t have to wait for a holiday to enjoy them as we always wait for Tortellini in Brodo for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter!
Further down, you’ll find the vegetarian filling that we use . . . it’s swiss chard-based. Yes, you can use spinach, but we’ve grown up using garden-fresh swiss chard. So change it out using spinach, or however you please; after all, you need to please YOUR palate and not mine.
After making the filling ahead of time, prepare the fresh pasta. Let it rest awhile and then roll it out into nice long sheets. My mother has fallen in love with the Kitchen Aid Mixer pasta roller attachment (it’s hers, not mine, at nearly $300). I still use the hand-cranked roller!
As you can see below, take a damp-dry towel and COVER the pasta that you’re not working on at the moment to prevent it from becoming dry and un-workable. When too dry, the pasta will break open as you’re making ravioli (or any stuffed pasta such as tortellini) and it will wrip and tear, leaving ‘holes’ that the filling will fall out of and also break during cooking.
Trust me, you don’t want that to happen!
press edges with a fork to seal each ravioli
And here’s the filling recipe for you!
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 jumbo eggs
- 2 pounds frozen swiss chard or spinach, cooked, drained to a very dry state (note: it is extremely hard to find frozen swiss chard in stores, we freeze swiss chard from our gardens)
- 3 cups of a blend of Pecorino-Regiano, Parmigiana, and Asiago cheeses to taste!
- Taste, taste, TASTE!
- Salt and pepper to taste (if possible, use freshly cracked sea salt and black pepper)
- 1 - 2 tsp. freshly-grated (not in the powdered form) nutmeg (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp. allspice
- Breadcrumbs to your desired consistency to be able to form nice little balls of filling.
- On a low heat and in a pan, slowly cook eggs and milk together.
- Remove from heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg-milk mixture with the swiss chard or spinach.
- Add the cheeses.
- Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and allspice.
- Blend in breadcrumbs to a consistency that small balls of filling can be formed and retain their shape.
- My mother, Retha Santi Corieri and her sister Rubie Santi Patrick, worked on this recipe to try to determine what their prematurely deceased mother's recipe was for the family recipe for ravioli filling and who had never written her recipe down prior to her passing. This is the version that my mother and my Zia Rubie finally settled on. IT IS DELICIOUS!!! Thank you to my dear cousin, Jackie, for her delicious garden-fresh Swiss Chard that we make our ravioli filling from every year!