This month at Montengarde Cookery Group the theme is Eat Your Vegetables, so it’s time for some spinach ravioli.
I’ll let you in on a secret, although I love redacting recipes and cooking them my wife, HL Kayleigh de Leis, is the better cook, especially when it comes to pastas. So she’s the one making it this time.
This month’s is coming from Sabina Welserin’s 1553 German cookery book. Rabiolin zú machen or “to make ravioli”.
31 To make ravioli
Take spinach and blanch it as if you were making cooked spinach, and chop it small. Take approximately one handful, when it is chopped, cheese or meat from a chicken or capon that was boiled or roasted. Then take twice as much cheese as herb, or of chicken an equal amount, and beat two or three eggs into it and make a good dough, put salt and pepper into it and make a dough with good flour, as if you would make a tart, and when you have made little flat cakes of dough then put a small ball of filling on the edge of the flat cake and form it into a dumpling. And press it together well along the edges and place it in broth and let it cook about as long as for a soft-boiled egg. The meat should be finely chopped and the cheese finely grated.
The issue here seems to be the term “flat cake”. It comes from “vnnd wen jr den platz gemacht hand”. Platz can be translated a few ways but one of them is a thin cake. A great mennonite dish, Platz, is a type of square built on a thin cookie crust at the bottom. So to make platz from a dough “as if you would make a tart” in my mind should imply a thin pastry dough, so not unlike modern pasta. It then makes sense that if you’re making the thin dough, and putting a ball of filling on it, then forming it into a dumpling and pressing the edges together it’s not unlike the modern ravioli.
- 1 lb ricotta cheese
- 1 lb well shredded cooked chicken
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 lb chopped blanched spinach (feel free to use frozen chopped spinach)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Make pastry dough from eggs and flour in preferred method, roll out thin sheets
- Mix spinach with salt, pepper, and eggs divide in half
- Mix half of spinach with cheese
- Mix half of spinach with chicken
- Spoon mixtures onto pastry, you may want to do first one mixture then the other so you can tell which are chicken and which are cheese
- Cover with more pastry, press to seal, cut apart
- Boil ravioli in chicken or beef stock for 3-4 minutes
This one didn’t work as well as planned as we were still learning how to use our new pastry roller, but it was still really tasty. The cheese ravioli worked out the best, the chicken ones were a bit dry.