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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ravioli with Spinach Pesto

As a kid, I'd spend a complete day at my father and step mother's home making homemade ravioli for Christmas each year and it was definitely a "labor of love". The house would be buzzing with lots of noise; mainly laughter, as one person would be mixing the dough and another would be rolling out the dough using an old wooden closet rod that had been passed down. Usually it was my dad and grandfather that would take turns as it's a very stiff dough and hard to roll out. Then the rest of us would make the filling, fill, cut and seal the ravioli and place in cornmeal lined shirt boxes so that we could freeze them for the special day. 

The last time I made homemade ravioli was when we first got married and were living in our townhouse. It was the blizzard of 1995 and my best friend Barbara (who also lived in the same townhouse community) and I pooled our resources and managed to find all of the ingredients to make ravioli to keep us busy while we were snowed in. So we spent the day making several different varieties; then treated our new husbands to an Italian treat. I don't think I've made them since, but will have to try it again soon. It's a little hard for me to roll out the dough as my wrists are too weak, but I got a new pasta attachment for my mixer recently so I do want to give it another try soon. 

Ravioli are a type of Italian filled pasta and are made by creating a filling inside two layers of egg pasta dough; then sealed shut. You can fill it with just about anything you wish, but the most popular (or at least the kind we made from scratch) were cheese filled. Since today is National Ravioli Day, I thought I'd share a quick and easy ravioli recipe that has such a robust flavor. Serve with a tossed salad and you'll have a quick, restaurant quality weeknight meal your family will love in minutes! 

Ravioli with Spinach Pesto
24-1oz. Cheese Ravioli
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 c. Prepared Spinach Pesto (see below)

1. Add water and salt to a large pot and bring to a boil. 
2. Slowly drop in the ravioli and cook until they start to float to the top. Times may vary depending on whether you're using fresh or frozen ravioli. 
3. Remove ravioli with a slotted spoon and place in a serving bowl. 
4. Add the pesto and mix well. Serves 6 (4 ravioli per serving). 

*Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories 248, Carbs 34.5g, Fat 7.1g, Protein 11.7g, Fiber 2.2g, Sugar 1.1g
*Calculations based on ingredients entered into CalorieCount and may not be 100% accurate.

Spinach Pesto
2 c. Fresh Baby Spinach; rinsed, stems removed, firmly packed
1/4 c. Fresh Parsley; rinsed, stems removed, firmly packed
1/4 c. Pine Nuts
2 Cloves Garlic
1/4 c. Asiago Cheese
2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt, to taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

1. Add the spinach, parsley, pine nuts, garlic and cheese to a food processor and blend together.
2. Gradually pour in the oil and pulse until smooth. Stop the machine in the middle to scrape down the sides. Makes 3/4 cup. (You can also make this ahead of time and freeze in an airtight container until you're ready to use).

*Nutritional Information per Tablespoon: Calories 43, Carbs .8g, Fat 3.9g, Protein 1.1g, Fiber .2g, Sugar .1g
*Calculations based on ingredients entered into CalorieCount and may not be 100% accurate.

Happy 1st Day of Spring! 


  1. Be sure to toast your pine nuts. It'll give your pesto another dimension of flavor.

  2. Carrie,
    I'm blown away but the world of pesto I've learned about since blogging about food. I already knew about basil and arugula pestos, but now cherry tomato, and kale, and even spinach! Awesome.

    We had shamrock-shaped Irish cheese-filled ravioli for St Patrick's day (picked it up at Costco). I baked them, though, after coating in a Greek yogurt/pesto mixture and dipping in breadcrumbs. Yum!

    I love ravioli! Thanks for a new idea for it!

  3. I just finished making this. I made a few adjustments just so I could use the items I had on hand. I used almonds and basil instead of parsley and pine nuts...i also added 1/2 lemon with its zest, plus cayenne pepper. Wow...who ever thought you could use spinach?! The color is wonderful, and the lemon makes it very fresh. Truly delicious. Thank you!

    1. I'm so glad I inspired you to experiment with what you had at home. Your variation sounds incredible and you're right, the spinach does make a wonderful pesto. Thanks for stopping by to let me know!


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