Making Culingiones, which are Sardinian ravioli stuffed with cheese and spinach, was probably my proudest moment in cooking for this blog. It was one of the most involved dishes that I've made, but more than that, it's something that I really wasn't sure I would be able to pull off. I was lucky in that my mom got me a pasta roller for my birthday, so rolling out the dough was no problem. If you don't have a pasta roller you can still make this, but rolling out the dough will be a little more tedious.
Traditionally, the ravioli is stuffed with Pecorino and Parmesan cheeses and spinach. However, I've also seen versions that use potato as part of the filling. You will often see them made in a half moon shape with crimped edges, but for the sake of simplicity, I went with plain square ravioli. Next time maybe I'll be a little more ambitious and go for the circlular version. Culingiones are usually served with a simple tomato sauce or meat sauce. However, I loved the flavors of the filling enough that I just ate it with some olive oil drizzled on top.
Culingiones - Sardinion Ravioli
Adapted from Italian Regional Cookingby Ada Boni, 1969
For the dough:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
For the filling:
1/2 pound fresh spinach
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound Pecorino cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
- To create the dough, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the flour and add the 5 eggs. Knead on a slightly floured surface until you get a smooth, elastic dough. You may need to add water if the dough is too dry.
- Form the dough into a ball and put into a clean bowl. Cover with a damp towel and let sit for 30 minutes.
- While the dough sits, make the filling. Wash the spinach but do not dry it completely. Put the spinach in a pan. Cook over a moderate heat, covered, until the leaves are tender, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the spinach from the pan. Once it cools, squeeze the water out of it and chop it finely.
- Add the olive oil to the pan that you used for the spinach. Once heated through, return the spinach to the pan and saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
- Remove the spinach from the pan and let cool.
- In a bowl, combine the Pecorino cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. When the spinach is cool, add it to the bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.
- Divide the dough into four pieces. Either using a pasta roller or a rolling pin, roll out the dough as thin as possible into rectangular sheets.
- Use a kitchen knife to lightly mark squares that are two inches by two inches on one of the sheets. In the middle of each 2 by 2 square, place a spoonful of the filling. Cover with another one of the pasta sheets. Press down firmly between all of the squares to seal the pasta. Use the a knife or a ravioli form to cut out each square and check that each raviolo is sealed completely. Repeat with the rest of the pasta sheets.
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Season with salt. Cook the ravioli in batches until al dente. The ravioli will only take around 4 minutes to cook.
- Serve hot with olive oil or marinara sauce.
Ryan's rating of Culingiones - Sardinian Ravioli - 5.