Rotolo di spinaci by Ruth Rogers

Rotolo di spinaci by Ruth Rogers

Serves 4-6
For the fresh pasta (makes about 500g)
tipo 00 flour 350g, plus extra for dusting
sea salt ¼ tsp
whole eggs 2 (3 if they are small)
egg yolks 4 (5 if the eggs are small)
semolina flour for dusting

For the rotolo
dried porcini 65g
fresh spinach leaves 800g
unsalted butter 20g
red onion ¼ medium, peeled and finely chopped
fresh marjoram leaves a handful
olive oil 1½ tbsp
garlic 2 cloves, peeled and finely chopped
fresh ricotta about 350g
parmesan 65g, freshly grated
nutmeg freshly grated
semolina flour for dusting

For the sage butter
unsalted butter 225g
fresh sage leaves a bunch
extra parmesan freshly grated

First make the fresh pasta. Put the flour and salt in a food processor and add the eggs and egg yolks.

Pulse-blend until the ingredients start to come together into a loose ball of dough.

Lightly dust a flat surface with semolina and a little extra flour, then knead the pasta dough for about 3 minutes or until smooth. If the dough is very stiff and difficult to knead, you may have to put it back in the processor and blend in another whole egg.

Wrap the ball in clingfilm and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes, and up to 2 hours.

To make the filling, first rehydrate the porcini by soaking them in warm to hot water for 15-20 minutes.

Blanch the spinach in boiling water until wilted. Drain and squeeze dry, then chop.

Heat the butter in a pan and fry the onion until soft. Add the marjoram and spinach, and stir to combine the flavours. Season, then cool.

Drain the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid (pass this through fine muslin or a filter to get rid of any grit). Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the garlic gently for 30 seconds. Add the porcini and continue to fry very gently for 10 minutes, adding a little of the porcini liquid from time to time to keep the mushrooms moist, not wet. Season and leave to cool. When cold, chop roughly.

Put the ricotta in a large bowl and mix lightly with a fork to break it up, then add the spinach mixture, parmesan and a generous amount of nutmeg. Add sea salt and black pepper if necessary. Set aside.

Dust a large work surface with semolina flour and roll out the pasta dough by hand to a large sheet, as thin as possible; it does not matter if there are a few holes or tears. Cut the edges to straighten. You should have a piece of about 30cm square.

If you have a pasta machine, divide the dough in half and roll out into two very thin strips (this is 1.5 thinness setting on our machine). Join the strips to make a square, brushing the edges with water to seal.

Spoon the porcini along the edge of the pasta nearest to you, in a line about 3cm wide. Cover the rest of the pasta sheet with the spinach and ricotta mixture to a thickness of ½-1cm. Now, starting at the mushroom edge, gently roll up the pasta sheet away from you into a large sausage shape.

Place the pasta roll on a clean tea towel and wrap in the cloth – not too tightly as the pasta will expand a little during cooking. Secure with string to hold the roll in shape, tying at either end like a Christmas cracker and also in the middle.

Fill a fish kettle with water and bring to the boil. Add sea salt and the pasta roll, then cover and simmer for 13-18 minutes, according to the thickness of the roll – we usually make rolls of 6-7cm diameter.

To make the sage butter, heat the butter gently so it separates. Pour out the clarified butter into a clean pan and return to the heat. When very hot, add the sage leaves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Unwrap the pasta roll and place it on a board. Cut across into 1cm slices. Serve 4-6 slices per person, with extra grated parmesan and some sage butter.

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