Whoosh. Swish. ZOOOOOOOM! That, my friends, is the sounds of money leaving my wallet at the moment. Start of term means payment for activities, so with each piano lesson/sports invoice my wallet become noticeably thinner. July was rapidly becoming what Galumph terms "a tight month"!
And then, of course, the washing machine broke down. Cue red hot budget meltdown when we realised that the machine, after 13 years of faithful service, had gone to the big whitegoods store in the sky, and it needed to be replaced asap.
So our month went from tight to what I'd like to term budgetary strangulation. Ouch! After totting up the numbers, calculating necessary expenditure (i.e. we still need to buy food) and figuring our how long, exactly, we had until the next payday (answer: too long!) we decided that this weekend would be a spend-thrifty as possible.
Cue cheapy weekend activities. Bike ride on Saturday, and dusting off of pasta machine on Sunday after realising that I had all ingredients already in the house for ravioli. Viva la household economics!
Spinach and ricotta ravioli
For the pasta:
500g strong pasta flour ('00')
pinch of salt
semolina flour for dusting
For the filling:
250g fresh ricotta
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
250g frozen spinach, thawed
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1 - To make the pasta, place the flour, eggs and salt together in a food processor, and mix until a dough forms. Knead by hand on a floured surface for 5 minutes until the dough is nice and elastic, then wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2 - Meanwhile, make the filling. Squeeze out any moisture from the spinach, then mix well with the cheeses and nutmeg.
3 - Roll your pasta through the pasta machine one piece at a time until thin. When you have two lengths, place one on the bench, and spoon small spoonfuls of the mixture on it, with a couple of cms space between each one. Place the second piece of pasta on top of the first, and press down to enclose the filling, making sure there are no air bubbles and that the pastas are stuck together. Cut into squares. Repeat with remaining pasta and filling.
4 - Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Carefully drop the pasta in, and cook for 3 - 4 minutes, or until the ravioli are bobbing at the top. Drain, then serve with a simple tomato pasta sauce or melted butter with herbs.