Cottage Cheese and Spinach Ravioli

While ravioli is delicious, most are stuffed with high-calorie cheeses. This recipe swaps out ricotta for cottage cheese for a similar texture with half the calories. Try your hand at making pasta from scratch with this step-by-step recipe. 

Recipe from James Briscione and The Institute of Culinary Education 

3 cups Unbleached (all-purpose flour)
1 tsp Salt
4 Large eggs
2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves Garlic (chopped)
4 cups Spinach leaves
3 cups Cottage cheese
Salt and pepper (to taste)

To make the pasta dough, mound the flour and salt on a large work surface. Make a well in the center. Break the eggs into the well. Add in one tablespoon of oil. Begin whisking eggs together, using a fork until they are well mixed.

Begin incorporating the flour from the inside edges of the well. Incorporate enough flour until the dough is no longer sticky and you can begin to knead the dough by hand.

Begin kneading the dough, adding in additional flour if necessary to prevent the dough from sticking, until it is smooth and elastic, about eight to 10 minutes. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature to rest about 30 minutes to one hour.

To make the filling, saute the garlic in one tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. When the garlic is lightly browned, stir in the spinach and continue cooking until wilted. Transfer the cooked spinach to a colander to drain and cool. When cooled, squeeze dry in a clean kitchen towel.

Chop the dried spinach mixture and fold into the cottage cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To form the ravioli, cut the pasta dough into four pieces. Working with one sheet at a time and keeping the others covered with a damp cloth, roll each piece out into a thin sheet using a pasta machine.

Dust the counter and sheet of dough with flour, lay out the long sheet of pasta and brush the surface with water (which acts as a glue).

Place one tablespoon of the filling on half of the pasta sheet, about 2-inches apart. Fold the other half of the dough over the top of the filling. Gently press out air pockets around each filling, then cut into desired shape.

Dust the ravioli and a sheet pan with flour to prevent the pasta from sticking and lay them out to dry slightly while assembling the rest. You will have a total of 12 ravioli. At this point the ravioli can be placed in the refrigerator for up to one day or frozen in the freezer up to one month.

When ready to cook the ravioli: bring six quarts of water and two tablespoons of salt to a boil; add in the ravioli and cook until al dente, about three minutes. Transfer the cooked ravioli to a pan with butter and toss in some of the cooking water.