When I spent almost two months in Buenos Aires, I have to confess that, if I came across sorrentinos in one of my many meals at Café La Poesia in San Telmo, I didn’t give them too much thought back then. They look like large, round ravioli and often carry similar fillings. Considering that the majority of Argentinians are of Italian origin, the name of this dish could have come from an old recipe of Campanian ravioli, maybe made particularly well by a nonna from Sorrento? However, these round cousins of ravioli actually have their origin in Argentina, and legend says that they used to be served at a restaurant in Mar de la Plata called Sorrento- hence the name. Whilst in Spain I was lucky enough to assist with the preparation of a very original sorrentinos recipe, made with a filling of ricotta, spinach, mushrooms and walnuts. Obviously, I documented it all for you, as well as making sure I tasted them!
Ingredients for the pasta:
You will need a ravioli (or sorrentinos) mould tray, like this.
400g semola di grano duro (you’ll find it at your Italian deli)
400g farina 00 type
Ingredients for the filling:
½ an onion
150g mixed mushrooms (pick up the ones in season for the best taste)
50g grated parmesan
salt and pepper
Ingredients for the sauce:
Some salted butter
Some fresh sage leaves
Step 1 – Follow the recipe of our fresh home made pasta, just make sure you use the semola as described amongst the ingredients.
Step 2 – While your pasta is resting in the fridge, you can start making your filling, as it also needs to be cold when you are ready to fill your sorrentinos. Simmer the spinach in boiling salted water for about ten minutes, then leave them on the side to chill. Once they have lost all the excess water, place them into a large bowl.
Step 3 – Chop the onion very finely and fry it in extra virgin olive oil until golden, then also put it on the side, in the same bowl where you placed the spinach.
Step 4 – Clean and chop the mushrooms very finely, then also fry them in extra virgin olive oil. Add salt to them, and when they start loosing water, lower the heat. Keep cooking them at a moderate heat until they lose all of their own water, but still have a juicy and wet texture. Then add them to the spinach and onion. Let these ingredients chill.
Step 5 – Grate the walnuts with the help of a food processor. Then grate the parmesan. Once you made sure that the ingredients you previously placed in the bowl are cold, add the ricotta cheese, the grated walnuts and grated parmesan to them. Mix thoroughly with the help of a fork until you have a smooth, homogeneous cream. Add freshly grounded pepper, and salt if needed.
Step 6 – After leaving the pasta ball in the fridge for an hour, take it out and start rolling it, just as described in the fresh home made pasta recipe. Do it either with a rolling pin, or with the pasta machine, creating thin sheets of pasta.
Step 7 – Place one pasta sheet on the sorrentinos mould tray, then add the filling into each little round (or square if you are using a ravioli tray). Then place another pasta sheet on the top, making sure you are covering the first layer evenly. With the help of the rolling pin, push down the pasta so the sharp edges around each little shape cut the pasta properly. Then place your sorrentinos on a floured surface to dry.
Step 8 – Repeat the step until you run out of filling and pasta. If you have any pasta left, you can make more sorrentinos (perhaps just with ricotta and wholenuts if you fancy), or make rolls with your pasta sheets and then cut them in slices of about 5 millimetres, creating some delicious home made linguine that you can freeze and use at any time.
Step 9 – Let the sorrentinos dry for a few hours, then get ready for dinner!! Boil abundant salted water in a big pan, then cook the sorrentinos until they are coming up to the surface. You can try and cut an edge to taste and see if they are ready, if you are scared of overcooking them.
Step 10 – As your filling is so full of flavours, keep the sauce as simple as possible. We opted for a butter and sage sauce, which is amongst the favourite sauces for ravioli in Italy as well. To make it, simply melt the butter into a small pan that a low heat, add the sage and some black pepper. Put it into a small bowl.
Step 11 – Dish up the sorrentinos, and let the dinner guests help themselves at the table with as much sauce as they want and some grated parmesan to finish. Have you ever tried sorrentinos? Did you know about them? Let us know if you try this recipe!