March 22, 2009

Simple Sunday Lunch

Sometimes I am inspired by seasonal foods to cook and create. Other times, life just calls out for simple.

Where I live in Tuscany, an over-sized spinach and ricotta filled ravioli is called Ravioli alla Maremmana, Maremma-style ravioli's.

As spring has just arrived, young spinach is a natural filling with ricotta for ravioli and also for crepes.

This large-size is saved for Sunday lunches or parties and you only need a few per person, so if you are making your own, it is a great idea to make them large and make fewer!

Boiled spinach is drained and then minced and then blended with ricotta and some grated parmesan cheese. Here we add a little grated nutmeg to the mixture.

But the sauce is what I really adore.

This is the dish that made me want to move to Italy.

Simplicity on a plate.

Fresh sage leaves are either left whole or sliced thinly and warmed in butter.

I set the sage and butter in a skillet over the boiling pasta water and let the butter melt and the sage infuse into the butter.

When the water is boiling, I toss in the ravioli and let them cook until they begin to swell, which is the sign they are cooked.

I put the skillet with the butter on a burner over low heat and let the sage fry a little bit now and add the ravioli and a little of the cooking water.

Letting the ravioli finish cooking in the sage infused butter is a great trick I learned working in restaurants here, the sauce cooks into the pasta and gives so much more flavor.

The other trick is to add some grated parmesan to the pan as they are warming and the cheese begins to melt and forms a creamier sauce with the butter and pasta water.

Serve the ravioli with the sauce poured on top and serve more parmesan freshlyt grated on top.

If you can't move here like I did, this will bring a little Tuscany into your kitchen!

My book release updates:

The printers promised me to have the book ready by the end of the week, which means next week to me!

Thank you to those who have pre-ordered, I will get the books out to you as soon as I get them in my hot little hands.

If you will be in Tuscany soon, my friend Dario Cecchini, the wild butcher of Panzano will be throwing me a book- signing party soon!

if you haven't ordered my book, you can do so here on my website. There are also tons of other recipes online and dining guides for Florence and Chianti.



  1. I want to come to the book-signing party!!!
    a presto ... for this and for that!

  2. When's the party??? I am in Chianti with my mom (she asked about you by the way) the weekend of April 25/26. Very excited for you on the book! xx

  3. Just got a note- book is ready Wednesday so that weekend will probably be the party at Dario's.