Cookery School

Onion, spinach and ricotta ravioli with a lemon-cream sauce recipe

Satisfaction comes in little pasta parcels. Learn the technique with this how to video guide

Richard: "Spinach and ricotta is a classic pasta filling, but adding onion creates an extra dimension of texture and flavour. When you drain the water from your spinach, instead of throwing it away you could use it in a vegetable stock, to cook pulses or even drink it! It is extremely good for you, with a high iron content."

Serves 4


  • 250g ‘00’ flour, plus extra to dust
  • 5 eggs (2 whole eggs, 3 egg yolks)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)

For the ravioli filling

  • Knob unsalted butter
  • 4 banana shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 150g baby spinach leaves
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 125g ricotta cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the onions and sage leaves

  • 4 red onions, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g caster sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 8 whole sage leaves

For the lemon-cream sauce

  • 300ml single cream
  • Peel of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 whole sage leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Knob unsalted butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6. To make the pasta dough, put the flour and eggs in a food processor with a standard blade attachment and pulse until the mixture comes together. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil if a little extra moisture is needed.

  2. Remove the dough from the processor to a board and knead until smooth, being careful not to overwork the dough. If the dough is too wet, add a little extra flour.

  3. Cover the dough with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  4. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut in half. Lightly dust the pasta and the pasta machine with some extra flour.

  5. Feed the first half of the dough through the pasta machine, gradually reducing the setting each time, starting from the thickest and finishing with the thinnest setting, so you end up with a thin sheet of dough. Cover with a tea towel until ready to use. Repeat with the second piece of dough.

  6. Next make the ravioli filling. Heat a medium-sized sauté pan and put in the butter. Once it is foaming, add the shallots and fry for 2–3 minutes over a medium heat until soft. Add the spinach and grated nutmeg and cook until the spinach has wilted. Transfer the mixture to a sieve and press down on it with a spoon, to get rid of the water.

  7. Remove the shallots and spinach from the sieve and roughly chop. Place in a bowl with the ricotta, season with salt and pepper, mix and set aside.

  8. Lay the pasta sheets on a floured surface and cut out circles using a 6cm round pastry cutter.

  9. Lay a teaspoon of the spinach and ricotta mix in the centre of one pasta circle and brush the beaten egg wash around the edge of the circle. Place another pasta circle on top and press to seal the edges. Repeat with all the pasta dough and filling, to make 8 ravioli.

  10. For the griddled onions, place the sliced onions in an ovenproof dish and brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle on the sugar and put in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and squeeze over the lemon juice.

  11. Heat a large pan of salted water. Once it’s boiling, carefully add the ravioli. They will take 3–4 minutes to cook and will float to the top when ready.

  12. For the sauce, put the cream, lemon peel, garlic and 2 sage leaves into a medium-sized saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Pass through a sieve then pour the flavoured cream back into the pan, add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Gently warm through, adding the butter gradually.

  13. Fry the sage leaves off in a small pan in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until crisp and drain on kitchen paper.

  14. Place the griddled red onions in the centre of each plate and put 2 ravioli on top. Drizzle the lemon-cream sauce over and finish with 2 crispy sage leaves.

Book cover

Recipes extracted from 'Cookery School', brought to you by Channel 4 with recipes by Richard Corrigan. Published on the 3rd March (Penguin HB, £20)

Buy the book here


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