Brown Butter Cheese Ravioli with Spinach

This simple dish is all about contrasting flavors, textures, and colors. Spinach helps create silky ribbons, then combined with rich, creamy ravioli. It’s all topped with a “dressing” of crispy-fried sage, shallots, and pine nuts.

Prep ingredients for your cheese ravioli:

The best part of this dish is that there is not much to prep. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. And pick and thinly slice your sage leaves. Halve shallot, and then peel, and thinly slice about ¾ of a cup. Finely grate Parmesan.

Toast pine nuts:

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add pine nuts and cook, stirring, until just golden, 2–3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pine nuts to a paper towel-lined plate.

Finish dressing for your three cheese ravioli dish:

Take your ¾ of the shallot to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are nice and browned, 4–5 minutes. Add sage and cook until sage is crispy, 1–2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and transfer to the paper towel to drain. Transfer all to a small bowl and stir in ¼ of the Parmesan and several grinds of pepper.

Brown Butter Cheese Ravioli

Cook your raviolis:

Add ravioli to boiling water and let it cook, stirring once or twice, for 3–4 minutes to get to al dente,. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then carefully drain pasta.

Cook spinach:

The last bit to do is cook the spinach. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet over medium-high. Add remaining shallot and cook until golden, 2–3 minutes. Add ravioli and ¾ cup pasta water and simmer until reduced, 3–4 minutes. Sprinkle in remaining cheese, salt and pepper, and stir until sauce is creamy, 1–2 minutes. Add spinach and remaining pasta water and let wilt over the top.

Garnish & serve:

Carefully fold ravioli together, spoon onto plates, and garnish with crispy pine nut dressing

History of Ravioli

The origin of ravioli is wrapped in mystery. And it just so happens that one of the first dishes called “riavvolgere” meant “to wrap”. This might be the first known example of ravioli. In the 13th-century, a chef in the Repubblica di Genova is credited with the creation of this dish.

Brown Butter Cheese Ravioli

Like with most enduring and beloved culinary dishes, there are countless stories and conflicting tales about its origin. There have been rumors dating back to early Roman times, but it wasn’t until the 12th century that the first manuscripts were found describing raviolis—square or round shaped pasta, probably filled with ricotta and other ingredients.

In a more holistic viewing of ravioli, it’s just one of the many types of filled pastas or tortelli, as they were called in Italian. After all, who wouldn’t want to take credit for this amazing dish.

Torte (plural form), tortellini, and ravioli can all be traced back to the Middle Ages in Italy. The earliest versions of torte were not so different than those we are familiar with today: vegetables cooked with herbs and spices, and often combined with ricotta or other cheese, wrapped in dough.

Brown Butter Cheese Ravioli

Interestingly enough, ravioli was also know in England and was mentioned in a 14th century cookbook by King Richard II’s cooks called Forme of Cury, where it was listed as “rauioles”.

Brown Butter Cheese Ravioli

Tomato-based sauces with the pasta wasn’t popularized until the 16th century when the fruit (tomato) was introduced to the country from the Americas.

Recipes header

Brown Butter Cheese Ravioli with Spinach

This simple dish is all about contrasting flavors, textures, and colors. Spinach helps create silky ribbons, then combined with rich, creamy ravioli. It’s all topped with a “dressing” of crispy-fried sage, shallots, and pine nuts.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 1⁄4 oz fresh sage
  • 3 oz shallot
  • 3⁄4 oz Parmesan 3
  • 1 oz pine nuts
  • 1 pkg cheese ravioli 1 2,3
  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • kosher salt & ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Instructions
 

  • Prep ingredients: Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Pick and thinly slice sage leaves. Halve shallot, then peel, and thinly slice (about ¾ cup). Finely grate Parmesan.
  • Toast pine nuts: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add pine nuts and cook, stirring, until just golden, 2–3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pine nuts to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Finish dressing: Add ¾ of the shallot to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 4–5 minutes. Stir in sage and cook until sage is crispy, 1–2 minutes. Season with salt and transfer to the paper towel with pine nuts to drain. Transfer all to a small bowl and stir in ¼ of the Parmesan and several grinds of pepper.
  • Cook ravioli: Add ravioli to boiling water and cook, stirring once or twice, until barely al dente, 3–4 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then carefully drain pasta.
  • Cook spinach: Heat 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet over medium-high. Add remaining shallot and cook until golden, 2–3 minutes. Add ravioli and ¾ cup pasta water and simmer until reduced, 3–4 minutes. Sprinkle in remaining cheese, salt and pepper, and stir until sauce is creamy, 1–2 minutes. Add spinach and remaining pasta water and let wilt over the top.
  • Garnish & serve: Carefully fold ravioli together, spoon onto plates, and garnish with crispy pine nut dressing

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