#SaturdaySessions: Jamie Oliver's spinach and ricotta ravioli

#SaturdaySessions: Jamie Oliver's spinach and ricotta ravioli

Recipe inspiration

Text: Denise Kok

Image: Ella Miller

Planning to stay in this Valentine's Day? Nothing impresses like homemade pasta

A good plate of pasta can be one of the most satisfying dishes in the world — and there's nothing like making a fresh batch yourself. Below, the crew over at Jamie's Italian share their recipe for handmade ravioli that even the fussiest Italian nonna would agree with. Each ravioli packs in the creamy richness of ricotta with fresh basil and mineral-rich spinach, making for a hearty dish that easily doubles as primi piatti or a main in itself.   

Serves 4 

Olive oil 

200g Mozzarella cheese 

1/2 a bunch of fresh basil 

For the pasta dough

300g Tipo 00 flour, plus extra for dusting 

3 large free-range eggs 

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil 

For the filling

500g quality ricotta 

1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes 

1 lemon 

200g baby spinach 

50g Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve 


For the passata

2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes 

1/2 a small onion 

1 clove of garlic 

1/2 a bunch of fresh basil 


How to make it

1. To make the dough, combine the flour and 1 pinch of sea salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle, crack in the eggs and add the oil, then combine until it forms a rough dough. 

2. Knead well on a flour-dusted surface for 10 minutes, or until smooth and springy, then wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour. 

3. To make the filling, preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. 

4. Place the ricotta on a baking tray, sprinkle over the chilli flakes, then grate over a little lemon zest, a little sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil. 

5. Bake in the hot oven for 40 minutes, or until lightly golden, then set aside to cool slightly. 

6. Cook the spinach in a pan over a medium heat with a splash of water. Drain, squeezing out the excess water. 

7. Transfer the ricotta and spinach to a food processor. Finely grate in the Parmesan and remaining lemon zest. Blitz until finely chopped and combined, then season to taste. 

8. To make the passata, tip the plum tomatoes into a blender and blitz until smooth. 

9. Peel and dice the onion, peel and finely slice the garlic, then add to a medium pan over a medium heat with a splash of olive oil. Fry for 10 minutes, or until translucent. 

10. Pour in the blitzed tomatoes, pick in the basil leaves and season with sea salt and black pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, or until reduced by half. 

11. Divide the dough into portions, roughly the size of a small orange. Flatten each portion slightly, then roll through a pasta machine into a long sheet, roughly the thickness of a playing card, dusting with flour as you go (keep any dough you're not immediately using under a damp tea towel). 

12. Stamp or cut out the dough into 7cm squares. 

13. Roll teaspoons of the filling into balls, place on the pasta squares, then brush the edges with a little water. Place another square on top, then press to seal, squeezing out any air as you go. Set aside on a tray. 

14. Pass the tomato sauce through a coarse sieve into another pan, using the back of a spoon to push through all those lovely juices. Season to taste and keep warm over a low heat. 

15. Cook the ravioli in batches in a large pan of boiling salted water for 1 to 2 minutes. 

16. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ravioli to the sauce and toss well to coat. Divide between your plates, tear over the mozzarella and basil leaves, then serve with a grating of Parmesan.