Herb and Ricotta Ravioli with Sage Butter Sauce

Butter and Sage sauce is often what comes to mind when showcasing ricotta-filled ravioli, and especially spinach and ricotta ravioli. In Italy, meatless preparations like this are sometimes called “di magro” (literally, “of lean”), with reference to the foods that are allowed during lent according to the Christian tradition. Really, though, this dish is anything but lean – it’s a decadent buttery and cheesy delicacy that is technically not even vegetarian due to the presence of Parmigiano (made with rennet).

As a gentle twist to the common spinach flavoring, this herb and ricotta ravioli recipe makes use of Swiss chard (“bietola” in Italian), which is slightly more bitter, flavored with more sage, parsley, and a touch of garlic.

As for the origin of ravioli themselves, we need to go all the way back to the Middle Ages. Over the centuries, these early preparations have produced several regional staples, from Anolini and Cappelletti, to Tortelli, Tortellini, Tortelloni, Agnolotti, and Casoncelli, just to name a few!

Ingredients for two servings

For the dough
– 100 g flour
– 1 egg
– pinch of salt
– bit of water
For the filling
– 125 g ricotta, drained
– 1 egg yolk
– 20 g Parmigiano, grated
– 150 g Swiss chard
– 25 g fresh sage
– some parsley (optional)
– 1 clove garlic (optional)
– some olive oil
– pinch of salt
To boil
– 2 Tbsp coarse salt

For the sauce
– 30 g butter
– 10 sage leaves

For the plating
– More grated Parmigiano

Preparation

Let’s start with the dough! Put the egg, the flour, and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl. Mix into a dry crumble, then add a tiny bit of water – just enough so you can knead it into a firm but elastic ball. Cover and let it rest for 1/2 hour.

Meanwhile, wash the chard and put it into a large pan. Put the lid on and cook at high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until it almost disappears!

Next, put the cooked chard into a potato ricer and squeeze out as much water as you can. Then, chop it coarsely.

Now, wash and dry sage and parsley and chop them finely. Heat up some olive oil in a frying pan. Roast the sage and parsley for a couple of minutes, then discard the garlic.

In a mixing bowl, add the well-drained ricotta, the egg yolk, the grated Parmigiano, the cooked chard, and the crispy sage and parsley. Mix well.

Once a half-hour has elapsed, roll the dough until very thin (max 1 mm thick). Using a sharp round container (about 5-6 cm diameter), cut circles out of the dough. Re-knead the offcuts and re-roll the remaining dough to cut more circles. This is also a good time to start bringing a large pan of water to a boil.

Fill each raviolo with a teaspoon of ricotta mix. Fold the dough onto itself and press around the edge. Continue until all ravioli are filled. Lay them out on a wooden surface or on a floured tray.

Then make the sauce by melting the butter and adding fresh sage leaves. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the ravioli in plenty of salty water for about 4 minutes.

At this point, plate the ravioli on preheated dishes. Drizzle them with the sage butter sauce, and sprinkle them with some more Parmigiano.

Herb and Ricotta Ravioli with Sage Butter Sauce

Yield: 2 portions

Total Time: 1 hour

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Herb and Ricotta Ravioli with Sage Butter Sauce

Ingredients

    For the dough
  • 100 g flour
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • bit of water
  • For the filling
  • 125 g ricotta
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 20 g Parmigiano, grated
  • 150 g chard, can also use spinach
  • 25 g sage
  • some parsley (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • some olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • To boil
  • 2 Tbsp coarse salt
  • For the sauce
  • 30 g butter
  • 10 sage leaves
  • For the plating
  • More grated Parmigiano

Preparation

  1. Put the egg, the flour, and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl. Mix into a dry crumble, then add a tiny bit of water – just enough so you can knead it into a firm but elastic ball. Cover and let it rest for 1/2 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, wash the chard and put it into a large pan. Put the lid on and cook at high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until it almost disappears!
  3. Put the cooked chard into a potato ricer and squeeze out as much water as you can. Then, chop it coarsely.
  4. Wash and dry sage and parsley and chop them finely. Heat up some olive oil in a frying pan. Roast the sage and parsley for a couple of minutes, then discard the garlic.
  5. In a mixing bowl, add the well-drained ricotta, the egg yolk, the grated Parmigiano, the cooked chard, and the crispy sage and parsley. Mix well.
  6. Once a half-hour has elapsed, roll the dough until very thin (max 1 mm thick). Using a sharp round container (about 5-6 cm diameter), cut circles out of the dough. Re-knead the offcuts and re-roll the remaining dough to cut more circles. This is also a good time to start bringing a large pan of water to a boil.
  7. Fill each raviolo with a teaspoon of ricotta mix. Fold the dough onto itself and press around the edge. Continue until all ravioli are filled. Lay them out on a wooden surface or on a floured tray.
  8. Then make the sauce by melting the butter and adding fresh sage leaves. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the ravioli in plenty of salty water for about 4 minutes.
  9. Plate the ravioli on preheated dishes. Drizzle them with the sage butter sauce, and sprinkle them with some more Parmigiano.
https://www.disgracesonthemenu.com/2021/09/herb-and-ricotta-ravioli-with-sage-butter-sauce.html
Paolo Rigiroli

Author: Paolo Rigiroli

Now based in the UK, Paolo is an Italian who lived in Canada for nearly 18 years and blogs about Italian food and its many aberrations.

5 thoughts on “Herb and Ricotta Ravioli with Sage Butter Sauce”

  1. One of my favorite dishes, although I have to admit I often make it with commercially made ravioli… 🤷

    Your comment on parmigiano-reggiano not being truly vegan/vegetarian reminds me of how many “secret” ingredients wind up in our food. I just found out today that a lot of sugar isn’t technically vegan/vegetarian either, since it is often whitened with “bone char”, whatever that is… Would never have occurred to me!

    1. Heh! There’s some good commercially made ravioli out there (Rana’s for instance are amazing). Yeah, it’s true about those unexpected ingredients. Sometimes they are traditional, sometimes I think just evil! I suppose I should stop calling myself a pescatarian as I do eat Parmigiano and white sugar.

  2. As I began reading, I wondered if this would be filled with nettles, which I had often in Liguria. The good news is, I have no nettles in the garden but Mark did grow chard – so we are all set. Thanks for making the garlic optional; luckily, I never had a raviolo in Italy like this with garlic. 🙂 Hope you are both well. We are bravely (?) going to Rome in October. I feel we will be infinitely safer there than here with all the crazy anti-vaxxers!

    1. Hi David! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 The hint of garlic is certainly subtle and optional. I’ve actually never had nettles filling – further demonstrating that Italy is all but one single thing! Let me know how they turn out, I’m sure your plating will be better than mine 🙂 I think Rome is pretty safe right now, and I’m starting to think I could go back too to visit my family after so long. Will be on the lookout for pictures!

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