Monday, January 5, 2009

Spinach Ravioli in Bechamel Sauce

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This recipe was given to me by my friend Gina. I believe the recipe originally came from Giada De Laurentiis but Gina adapted it to suit her taste...and it certainly suits mine! This dish was my contribution to Christmas Day dinner with Steve's family. The ravioli came from Costco believe it or not. I figured I would give them a shot since I don't have an Italian specialty store near my house. The ravioli were not frozen (but can be) and were filled with spinach, ricotta, mozzarella and asiago cheese. It was like a party in my mouth! If we didn't have so much more food coming I would have had seconds.

The next person I must give credit to is Steve's Uncle Salvatore. He is a professional photographer and took some beautiful pictures of the table and the ravioli. I'm so thankful that he did that because I forgot all about it! Please visit salvatore's website to see some more of his work. Thanks for sending me the pictures Salvatore!

Spinach Ravioli in Bechamel Sauce


5 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups warm whole milk
1 package of diced Pancetta
1 package of Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
salt to taste
white pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg
1 bunch of scallions, separate white and green parts
3 dozen spinach ravioli (cook according to package)


Sauté pancetta in a non-stick pan until golden brown. Add the white parts of the scallions and sauté until tender, remove and set aside. Sauté mushrooms in pancetta drippings. Add salt. Cook for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms to pancetta and scallions and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until the butter and flour are well combined. Gradually pour in the warm milk, whisking constantly as it thickens. You want the béchamel to be smooth and thick. Do not allow the béchamel to boil. (Have patience. This takes some time but it is the right amount of flour. Adding more will only risk making the sauce lumpy.)

Add salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Stir. Adjust seasonings to your taste.

Add the pancetta mixture to the béchamel sauce and stir.

Serve over ravioli and garnish with the green parts of the scallions.

Try not to lick the plate...or do. :-)

Yields: 8 - 10 servings ( or more, depending on the course...and your appetite!)

All photos by Salvatore Corso.

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Bob said...

I love ravioli, these look mad good. My mom used to get ravioli from BJ's that were really good, those kinds of places sometimes have really good stuff.

Maryann said...

The table looks so inviting :)

Megan said...

I love Costco's refrigerated ravioli. I have a container in my freezer right now!

They are also really great if you fry them - Giada's recipe is the one I used.

Spryte said...


Lisa said...

I have some leftover pumpkin ravioli in my freezer that would go great with that bechamel sauce!

Michele said...

Thank you all!

Lisa - I say go for it. The additions to the bechamel really make the sauce special.

Briana said...

Michele, I adore your recipes (especially coming from an Italian family myself!) but it is SO hard to find pancetta and prosciutto in the Midwest! Any ideas for substitutions or where I might be able to find them??

Michele said...

Briana - thank you so much! Yes, you can use bacon as a substitution if you're using it in soup. For this particular recipe I would suggest dicing up a ham steak or you could just leave it out altogether. You don't want the smokiness of bacon so that really wouldn't work in this particular recipe. Good Luck!

Patsy said...

I just found this recipe. My husband loves ravioli, and I have been wanting to make some. I had no idea Sam's had ravioli...or that it is good. I will give this a try!