Cappelletti Ripieni di Spinaci e Ricotta con Lenticchie Rossi e Salvia
Spinach and Ricotta Cappelletti with Red Lentils & Sage
Sometimes you can make a little go a long way- you all know that by now from reading my blog- and this is another example of making something, seemingly from nothing. Imagine feeding 2 people with 1 egg, a cupful of flour, a handful of lentils, a 3" chunk of leek, a handful of spinach, my last scoop of ricotta cheese and a few sage leaves- and of course some basics like garlic, oil, spices and cheese. The result doesn't look too bad though, does it? And strangely enough, it wasn't...
I started out by making a simple pasta dough... egg, flour, some warm water and a little muscle power. I hope I don't have to tell you how to make a pasta dough... just use whichever recipe you feel comfortable with... it is what we are going to do with the pasta that is important.
Once the dough was made, I put it in the fridge to rest and got ready with the filling. I chopped the spinach finely and sauteed it briefly with some chopped garlic and nutmeg and a little water in a frying pan, until the spinach was soft and the water evaporated. I removed it from the heat and salted and peppered it and allowed it to cool for a few minutes.
Whilst that was happening, I rolled out the pasta dough and then cut it into strips of a the
same width of my little pasta cutter. As soon as the spinach was cool, I mixed in the ricotta and a little milk and mashed it all into a paste. I then pot little half-teaspoon-sized dabs of filling at regular distances down the edge of the rolled out dough. I then folded the dough over along the length of the spots of filling and pressed it down. Making the "Cappelletti", or "Little Hats" was easy. Using the pasta-cutting ring, I cut away half-circles from the folded-over dough and made sure the edges were sealed well. I dusted the little pasta parcels, or "hats", with flour so that they would not stick together and set them to one side- and it was all very much plain sailing from that point on!
I cut the leek into fine slices and sauteéd it in a little clarified butter, adding some finely shredded sage and a handful of red lentils per person. After 2-3 minutes, I added the pasta to the lentils, some finely chopped garlic and a little more butter. I grated it with nutmeg and added a cupful and a half of milk and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 2-3 minutes, add some grated Parmesan and stir gently. By now the pasta should be coated in a gentle sauce of leek, sage, garlic and parmesan and simply delicious.
Serve with a light drizzle of olive oil, some coarsely grated Grana cheese and some freshly ground pepper- or a pepper/chili mix like I have... so simple but such a delicious combination- and what a cool supper for another dark, brisk, Autumn evening!