Italian pastas are characterized by the great variety they have in each region, town or city, with ravioli being one of them.
Ravioli, is the most popular, best known, most savored and appreciated stuffed pasta.
It is a classic within Italian pasta and for a long time is one of the favorite pasta of almost all countries.
Starting from the base of flour and water, the Italian pastas have different textures, different formats and as a separate chapter and given their abundance, we can not fail to mention the manufacture of stuffed pasta.
Within the manufacture of stuffed pasta we emphasize in the first line, the ravioli or raviolo.
The first ravioli were known in the different regions of Italy with a classic filling of ricotta and vegetables.
Those that were filled with different meats or other preparations were not considered ravioli.
The first ravioli, to be more precise, were filled with a preparation that basically combined two elements, ricotta and turnip greens, to which different condiments were added to enhance their flavor.
Turnip greens, in the Italian language is called rapa and something very interesting and worth noting is that in the middle ages these leaves were known with the diminutive of rabiola.
According to gastronomic documents found in 1243, they say that ravioli are an Italian specialty from Cremona.
Today they are spread throughout several cities and regions of Italy.
Its oldest name is raviolo. This name means that it was riavvolta or wrapped around a filling.
It may have been first named “tortelli” that “raviol”. Since in the book “Liber de Coquina” (late thirteenth and early fifteenth centuries), one of the oldest recipes, the recipe for “cakes” is mentioned, which were thick masses that served as a container and not for eating . On the “cakes” was a mixture of chopped meats with vegetables and spices which were baked on this dough. Only the stuffing was eaten. (In the photo the left is the original book, the right a modern edition of it)
The old Italian pasta cooks were influenced by this book and began to make smaller versions of this “cake” which they called “tortello” (small cake). They enclosed the filling between the dough and it was boiled presented with sauce and also fried as a dessert dipped in sugar and honey. The people when eating the “tortellos” found that it was a delight, but to the filling as it was the most tasty they said “raviolo” (which comes from the Latin Rabiole “type of delight”)
There are opinions that strongly affirm that the ravioli were developed entirely in Italy. Being these an evolution of the traditional lasagna. This statement is based on written documents of the fourteenth century in which the word “ravioli” is repeatedly mentioned. One of the fathers of Italian literature, Giovanni Boccaccio, mentions in one of his works in the fifteenth century: – … nessuna altra thing facevano che far maccheroni e raviuoli – (‘… nothing else they had to make macaroni and ravioli’).
In later times the concept of raviol became popular, shapes and fillings began to vary. Each Italian region established its type, name and variety of raviol or tortelli.
In its beginnings and for many years the ravioli was a fresh, homemade pasta prepared by the ladies for lunch on Sundays as a family.
This fact has been widely overcome today by the pasta industry, with ravioli stuffed with vegetables, ricotta, meat, chicken, etc. and in turn with masses of different colors.
These small filled squares are served with different sauces or just butter and cheese or olive oil and cheese.
But all this successful industry will never be able to overcome the good energy of hands by kneading with love and offering them to their loved ones.
There are two ways to make them one, stretching the fine dough and distributing medium portions of fill in row and maintaining a distance of approximately 4 centimeters between one and the other.
Then they are covered with dough and pressed all around to then cut
with the toothed wheel in the shape of a square. The size may vary according to your application. Smaller if we use them in broth as soup, or a little bigger to eat them with sauce.
There is much behind a plate, the ravioli also keep tasty fillings, funny stories and anecdotes that have transcended times. From kings food to popular dish. Now you will know how to appreciate more that tasty dish of stuffed masses.
Tortellini is a variety of ring-shaped pasta, consisting of a layer of dough rolled and joined at its ends, which is usually filled with meat, cheese or vegetables. There are different ways to serve them, either in broth, in sauce or with cream. This dish emerged in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, with disputed origin between the provinces of Bologna and Modena.
In 1842, the French traveler Valéry Pasquin collected in his memoirs a filling of “tallow ground beef, egg yolk and Parmesan cheese”, very close to the current recipe.4
Various legends have been generated on this plate. One of them tells that it arose in Castelfranco Emilia (province of Modena), when a marchioness stayed in the village tavern. The owner of the place was so captivated by the beauty of that lady that she could not resist the temptation to spy on it through the keyhole. Although there was so little light that he could only see the navel, this vision was more than enough to inspire the creation of the tortellini.
Another version about the origin of the tortellini narrates the legend that during the ancestral battle between Modena and Bologna, the gods Mars, Venus and Bacchus came down to help the town and at the end of that difficult day, to recover and rest, they stopped at an inn in the town of Catelfranco Emila in the same province of Modena. The next morning Mars and Bacchus left the inn very soon to continue the battle and Venus, tired, decided to stay and take a relaxed bath in her room. The innkeeper, with much curiosity, approached the room to spy from the lock on Venus. Being absolutely captivated by the beauty of the curves and the perfection of his navel, he went down to the kitchen, took a piece of pasta and with it he formed the first tortellino, matching that perfect shape of the goddess’ navel.
Tortellino is a type of pasta that has many cousins, both salty and sweet. In the same Emilia Romagna region, around the area of Bologna and Modena, there are several types of stuffed fresh pasta that descend directly from its more international cousin. The Tortelli, another type of stuffed pasta flatter and not crooked. The Cappelletti, originally from the area of Reggio Emilia, first cousins of the tortellini. The Cappellacci, from the Ferrara area, a large version of the traditional tortellino. The Añolotti, from the Parma area. And then the sweet versions of tortellini stuffed with custards, chocolate or jams that are fried or cooked in the oven.
Spinach and ricotta ravioli are one of the most classic stuffed pastas and it is usually a recipe that most people like. They are laborious to do, but when it comes to eating them, it’s worth every minute of work.
Ingredients for sauce
Parmesan cheese grated to taste
cooking water of the ravioli
salt to taste
1 branch of fresh sage
80 grams of butter
Ingredients for recipe
30 grams of Parmesan cheese
1 pinch of nutmeg
ground white pepper to taste
salt to taste
200 grams of fresh cow ricotta
100 grams of fresh spinach
1 clove garlic
20 milliliters of olive oil
65 grams of egg yolk
90 grams of whole egg
75 grams of wheat semolina
175 grams of flour
Knead all the ingredients, until a smooth and elastic mass is obtained, with wrapping paper and store in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
For the filling:
Clean the spinach with water, drain and dry. Remove the part of the trunk.
Peel the garlic, open in half, remove the germ and press it. Heat a pan add the garlic cook without browning, remove the garlic and add the spinach, sauté.
Remove on a plate and drain well with the help of a cloth or gauze. Chop them very well and in a bowl mix with the ricotta, parmesan, salt, ground white pepper and nutmeg.
Mix well and store in a sleeve.
With the pasta machine, work the dough a little and gradually stretch until you get the right thickness, the dough must have the same width, otherwise it will lack dough when covering.
Add abundant semolina on the table, on it place the pasta straight and on the pasta place portions the size of a stuffing nut. Overlap another filler line at a separation distance of 3-4 cm.
Two rows come from each sheet. If necessary, wet with water very delicately (only if the paste has dried) around each filling.