Green Vegetarian Pasta with Spinach and Ricotta
Sorry if I haven't posted anything for a while but, as you know, it has been a quite particular period. Italy is now in the so-called Phase 2, which means that activities are gradually starting to re-open and we can finally see family and friends. The surrounding reality, though, is still strange, as we are required to wear mask and gloves outdoors and gatherings are still prohibited, but at least we can go out and enjoy the scents and colours of spring. The temperature has increased, so it's nice and warm, and in the area of Giardini it's full of roses of all shades.
I haven't taken my camera out much yet, only two mornings I couldn't resist temptation and took some pictures in Piazza San Marco. Please forgive me if I am not sharing any Venice pic today, but I haven't seen my own city for months, so now I am just wandering around, amazing myself with its beauty at every corner. I don't know if you can understand, but Venice is a place that enters your blood and becomes part of you, and I just need to reconcile with her and cherish her and its people. In other words, I need to load up with positive energy before I can be able to convey it to you.
What I can say is that the city appears to me more beautiful than ever. Of course, Venice is like an old lady that in the last 12 months has experienced intense and multiple challenges, with no one there to aid her. But now, we finally can start taking care of her again and see what the future holds.
I hope to start working again soon (BTW, if you are into photography you could consider booking me for a Venice photo walk) and that things won't go back to what they were before, but will improve. I hope that tourism will develop in a slower and more environment-friendly way, and also -in the deep of my heart- I hope that the cost of living will decrease a little so that people can stay and maintain Venice a living city (and not an 'open-air museum', definition that never fails to give me the shivers and makes me rather angry). It is not for me to say how tourists should behave, but it is undeniable that the choices we make have an enormous impact, thus I do wish travellers visiting my city (and that declare to love her) will make conscious decisions, from accommodation to food and crafts (and trust me, one does not need to be rich to support local business! There are quality options for every pocket...).
My heart is burning with passion and expectations, so to try to convey this feeling to you, I decided to share a green recipe, being green the colour of hope and rebirth. The dish is a simple fresh pasta with spinach and ricotta, perfect to celebrate the season and feed our soul.
As for the rest, I am already planning my next posts and will be meeting some lovely people I can't wait to tell you more about, so stay tuned!
Take care and see you soon in the lagoon.
GREEN VEGETARIAN PASTA WITH SPINACH AND RICOTTA
Ingredients (for about 26 ravioli):
200 gr semolina flour
3 gr salt
250 gr fresh spinach
100 gr ricotta
1 untreated lemon
6/8 black olives
1 clove of garlic
herbs of choice to garnish (I used sage)
1. Heat a pot with a little bit of olive oil, a crushed clove of garlic (remove after a minute) and cook the spinach for about 8 minutes. Adjust salt. When ready, blend until you get a nice and smooth spinach cream and let cool.
2. In a bowl, put the semolina flour, the salt, and make a hole in the middle. Prepare a measuring cup with about 80 ml of spinach + 30 ml water, and add to the dry ingredients. Start mixing with your hands in the bowl (so the liquid doesn't 'escape'), then move to a well floured flat surface and knead for 10 minutes. Make a ball, cover with a kitchen towel and let sit for another 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, combine the ricotta with the rest of the spinach cream and 4 roughly chopped olives, and keep aside (adjust salt).
4. When the time has passed, roll out the dough until it is about 1 mm thick (possibly a little less).
5. With a pasta cutter (6 cm diameter), start cutting your ravioli. Put in the middle of each circle a generous teaspoon of ricotta and spinach filling, then make a half moon and attach the two side ends pressing gently.
6. Bring a pot of water to the boil, add sea salt and cook the pasta until it comes afloat. Dress in a bowl with olive oil, a few drops of lemon and plate. Garnish with some finely chopped olives and almonds, some herbs, a pinch of black pepper, lemon zests (optional) and serve.