the pasta dough:
Sift the flour onto a work surface. Make a well in the center. Add the salt and BREAK in the eggs.
Using your hands, or a fork, MIX the ingredients together, drawing in flour from the sides.
KNEAD the dough until it is smooth and elastic, for about 10-15 minutes.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat all sides with oil. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into two balls. Roll each ball out on a lightly floured surface using either a floured ROLLING PIN or a PASTA MACHINE.
ROLL into thin sheets. Let the sheets rest for 20 minutes.
Prepare the cheese filling:
Wash the spinach and remove the stems. Fill a large pan with lightly-salted water and bring to a boil. Cook the spinach, covered, for a few minutes. Drain, refresh, SQUEEZE out any excess liquids, and finely CHOP it.
Combine the spinach with the cheese, eggs, flour, saffron, and nutmeg. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Use a pastry cutter to cut circles 3 inches/ 7.5 cm round. PLACE a little of the filling to one side of the circle. Fold the other side of the circle over to form a half-moon. Seal the edges with moistened fingers.
Repeat until all the pasta sheets are used. Let the filled ravioli sit for 5 minutes before cooking them.
Bring plenty of lightly-salted water to a boil. Boil the ravioli for 10 minutes in three or four batches. Drain and serve with chopped basil, grated Pecorino-Romano cheese and butter.
Notes: This is one of the few native pasta dishes of the region, as bread is the preferred starch. They are distinctive for their half-moon shape and the use of saffron in the filling.
Unbleached, all-purpose white flour 14 oz/400 g
Fresh spinach 2/3 lb/
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese 2 cups/ + for garnishing
Powdered saffron pinch
Ground nutmeg pinch
Flour 1 tsp
Chopped fresh basil garnish
Butter 2 tbs
Rolling pin or pasta machine