This vibrant dish will thrill more than just the vegetarians at your table. The pasta takes a little effort to prepare, but it's worth it.
- 3 bunches English spinach, washed and trimmed
- 800 gm firm ricotta
- Handful of basil, finely chopped, plus extra leaves to serve
- Handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 50 gm parmesan, grated
- 150 ml vegetable stock
- 750 gm cherry truss tomatoes or mixed small heirloom tomatoes
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive-oil
- Shaved parmesan, to serve
- Butter, cooked until nut-brown, for drizzling
- 300 gm "00" (2 cups) flour
- 3 eggs
- ½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 1For pasta dough, mix ingredients in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook on medium speed until dough comes together, then knead until smooth and elastic (5 minutes). Wrap and leave to rest (20 minutes).
- 2Cook wet spinach, in batches, in a saucepan over high heat until wilted. Drain in a colander to cool, then squeeze to remove any excess liquid and refrigerate until required.
- 3Divide pasta into 6 pieces, then, working with one piece at a time, feed through pasta machine, starting at the widest setting then reducing notch by notch until 1.5mm thick. Blanch sheets in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (1 minute). Drain, refresh with cold water, then drain again and lightly brush with oil.
- 4Combine cooled spinach, ricotta and herbs. Season well.
- 5Preheat oven to 180°C. Place sheets of plastic wrap on the bench. Lay pasta sheets on top, overlapping slightly, to form a 70cm square. Spread ricotta mixture over. Use the plastic to roll up pasta to form a firm log, peeling back wrap as you go. Discard wrap. Trim edges. Cut log into 9 pieces. Place in a lightly greased 22cm x 30cm baking dish. Pour stock around rotolo and drizzle with olive oil. Cover with baking paper, then foil and bake until pasta is tender (45 minutes to 1 hour). Remove paper and foil, increase oven to 220°C and bake until golden (10-15 minutes).
- 6Meanwhile, drizzle tomatoes with oil and roast on an oven tray until golden (15-20 minutes).
- 7Top rotolo with tomatoes, basil and parmesan, drizzle over butter, and serve.