In 2007 during our first wine discovery tour through Italy, we visited Castello di Brolio in Tuscany and had dinner at the restaurant that was part of the winery. They served a tasting menu to showcase their wines, and with the Chianti Classico they served ravioli stuffed with ricotta and pecorino, garnish with sauteed spinach and toasted pine nuts. This is a variation on the Italian classic of ravioli stuffed with ricotta and spinach, and it really showcases the cheese that is included with the ricotta in the ravioli stuffing. Instead of pecorino, you can also prepare them with any other cheese. With a matured cow’s milk cheese such as pecorino or parmigiano, it does indeed pair very nicely with a Chianti Classico. Personally I prefer this with sauteed ‘wild’ (coarse) spinach, which is sweeter and retains more texture than sauteed baby spinach. (But in this case I only had baby spinach.)
I like the filling to be fluid. Include an egg for a firmer stuffing.
150 grams fresh ricotta
100 grams parmigiano reggiano, or other cheese of your choice
1 egg (optional)
pasta dough, made with 2 egss and 200 grams of flour
125 grams (2 handfulls) spinach
extra virgin olive oil
20 grams (2 Tbsp) toasted pine nuts
Fold over the sheet of pasta and close the ravioli with your fingers, making sure not to trap any air inside.
As already mentioned, Chianti Classico is a good pairing for this if the cheese is parmigiano reggiano or aged pecorino. For other cheese, another wine may be called for.
Cold fermenting pizza dough has three advantages: there is no need to knead it, the dough will be easier to handle, and more flavorful. It only requires a little planning, as you have to start 3-5 days before you want to eat the pizza.