8/18/13

Swiss Chard and Spinach Ravioli Nudi: Cookbook Dinner Club (The Glorious Vegetables of Italy)


For this month's cookbook dinner club, which actually happened to be a lunch, my friends Cecilia and Julia and I were lucky recipients of Domenica Marchetti's latest cookbook The Glorious Vegetables of Italy. We received the preview copies from the publisher, Chronicle Books.

This is the third cookbook by Domenica in my collection, and not only do I know Domenica, I am also really happy and proud that the author photo used in the book is the one that I took!

Just like other books by Domenica, this cookbook has gorgeous photographs, thoughtful stories, and recipes that beg to be made. Although I typically don't read the introductory chapters of a cookbook, because I didn't have any fiction books to read, I actually read the chapter describing different vegetables and how to pick and prepare them. Read that chapter! You'll learn a lot and get little stories from Domenica's and her family's life.

As the title of this cookbook implies, you'll get a varied collection of recipes in which vegetables shine, but you'll also get a few dishes that feature meat, preserves, and of course no cookbook complete without a few desserts.

For my contribution to the cookbook dinner (lunch) get together, I made Domenica's Swiss Chard and Spinach Ravioli Nudi.



Swiss Chard and Spinach Ravioli Nudi
Reprinted with the permission from Chronicle Books

Ingredients
makes 4-6 servings

1 lb/455 g Swiss chard, stems removed and reserved for another use
8 oz/225 g fresh shee's milk or well-drained cow's milk ricotta cheese
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg {I left this out}
3/4 cup/85 g freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/4 cup/30 g flour, plus more for coating the nudi
3 cups/720 g fresh tomato sauce, simple tomato sauce, or small-batch tomato sauce, heated to a simmer {Cecilia made and brought over the fresh tomato sauce from Domenica's cookbook and it was amazing.}

Directions

Rinse the shredded chard leaves in cold water. Place the leaves, with the water still clinging to them, into a large saucepan, cover, and set the pan over medium heat. Cook the chard, tossing it from time to time, for 12-15 minutes, until tender and most of the water has evaporated. Turn off the heat, and using tongs, transfer the chard to a collander and let it cool. Rinse out the saucepan and return to the stove.

Repeat with the spinach, but only cook it for about 5 minutes.

When the greens are cool enough to handle, squeeze as much excess water from them as you can. Transfer them to a cutting board and chop finely. You should end up with about 1 packed cup of freshly chopped greens weighing between 7 and 8 oz/200 and 225 g. 

Place the greens in a large bowl and add the ricotta, 1/2 tsp salt, a generous grinding of pepper, the nutmeg, the Parmigiano, and the egg yolks, Mix together gently but thoroughly. Sprinkle in the flour, and gently fold into the mixture.  
 


Pour some flour into a small shallow bowl. Have ready a large rimmed baking sheet lined with waxed paper or dusted with flour. {Domenica said to use your hands to make the bowls, but I used a little ice cream/cookie dough scoop to make sure every ball was uniform, and then rolled them.} Once the nudi are formed, roll them in the flour, and set it on the baking sheet. Work in batches. 



Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and salt generously. Carefully drop in 8 to 10 nudi. Within 1 or 2 minutes, they will begin to float to the surface. Continue to cook the nudi for another 5 to 6 minutes, until they have floated to the surface and are puffed up. With a large simmer, removed the nudi and transfer them to a warmed serving bowl. Spoon about 1 cup of the tomato sauce over the nudi and mix very gently. Continue to cook the nudi until you have cooked them all. When they have all been added to the serving bowl, spoon additional sauce over the top and sprinkle with Parimgiano. Serve immediately.


I was a bit scared of making this dish, but it was really easy. The only time consuming part was rolling the nudi. Tender, cheesy, slightly green, and dipped into tomato sauce, these balls were delicious! Plus, it's almost like they are healthy because of all the chard and spinach ;)

Cecilia made tomato sauce for this recipe and also a take on Domenica's Winter Squash Panna Cotta. Julia made Chickpea Salad with Red Onions and Lemon Zest and Tuscan Kale Frittata.

We had quite a feast! Later on I will share a Warm Citrus-Scented Olives with Ricotta Salata I made for an appetizer.

I have at least 4 other recipes that I have marked that I'd like to make from Domenica's The Glorious Vegetables of Italy. I highly recommend you add this cookbook to your collection.

7 comments:

Marnely Rguez-Murray said...

Oh wow, I must get Domenica's new book! What a great recipe to share as well!

Megan said...

I haven't gotten my hands on this book yet, but I love her two other books. And I love reading the chapter intros. Hers are so informative. What an incredibly delicious-sounding lunch!

Domenica Marchetti said...

Olga I just love this post. Your photos are beautiful. It makes me happy to know that you and Cecilia and Julia cooked from the book. I had a great time following your IG posts of the dinner. Plus it helped make the long drive up to Michigan much more entertaining. Wish I could have joined you. Next time!

Just Some Salt and Pepper said...

This sounds so good. I had a chard and collard green ravioli not too long ago and I loved it. This also sounds great!

discojing said...

What's a "cookbook dinner club"?

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

we choose a cookbook, get together and make/eat a few of the recipes from the book ;)

chezsasha.com said...

Wow I've never heard of a dish like this before. It looks wonderful though :) I'm very tempted to try it.