Spelt ravioli with Swiss chard, pine nut and ricotta filling

Home made pasta admittedly is quite a bit of work – not difficult, but it certainly takes more time than opening a package of store-bought pasta and dumping into a pot of boiling water. But all that time spent with mixing up the flour, eggs, water, olive oil and salt, passing the dough through the pasta maker (or rolling out with a rolling pin), creating little mounds of filling, and cutting it into individual little packets – is so well worth it when you bite into that wholesome goodness of spelt pasta. Experiment with the filling, if you like – you can replace the Swiss chard with fresh spinach or arugula, for example.

Processed with VSCO with s1 presetPasta ingredients:
2 cups spelt flour
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 heaping pinch of salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Add all ingredients in the bowl of a Kitchenaid mixer, and mix on low until the dough comes together. If the dough is too dry, add water, if too wet, add flour – a little bit at a time. On a floured surface, finish kneading by hand until dough is soft. Cover in cling wrap and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Filling ingredients:
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and ribs discarded and chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 tbs. pine nuts
3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese

Sauté garlic and pine nuts in olive oil in a large skillet, over medium heat, until fragrant and pine nuts are light brown in color. Add Swiss chard in batches. As the Swiss chard wilts and cooks down a bit, add more. Continue until all the Swiss chard is added. Season with salt and pepper. Cook covered, until desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool. Add ricotta cheese and stir. This filling can be chilled in the fridge while the dough is being rolled out.

Making the ravioli

After letting the dough rest, divide it in half, then in half again -you’ll have four little balls. Flatten your first piece of dough into a rectangle. Dust with flour, so it won’t stick to the rollers. Feed through pasta machine at its lowest setting. Do this a few times until the dough looks nice and combined and then turn the dial on the pasta machine to next setting. Run through once. Turn the dial to the next setting. Run through again. Again, dust with flour as needed or, to be on the safe side, between every turn. My machine goes to 9, but I usually only roll my pasta sheets for ravioli out to a 7 or 8. If you roll your pasta out too thin, you risk it coming apart while folding or boiling. Continue for each section of dough.

Along half of your rolled out pasta sheet, place a teaspoonful of filling about an inch apart. Cover with a sheet of pasta, and press down between the piles of filling to flatten. Use a fluted pastry wheel to cut the ravioli apart, then lay the ravioli on a towel lined baking dish.
The ravioli can be cooked right away or placed in the freezer. Once frozen they can be put in a gallon ziplock bag for longer term freezer storage. Regardless of whether you are eating them now or later, to cook the ravioli, just boil some water, and cook the ravioli until they float, about 3-4 minutes if fresh and a little longer if frozen.

Top with marinara sauce and chopped fresh basil.

Pasta recipe adapted from foodloveswriting.com and filling recipe adapted from rakeandmake.com

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