Cooking with Mamma: Ravioli with Sugar

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This recipe is an alternative Abruzzo recipe on the classic Ravioli with Spinach and Ricotta cheese. The Ravioli with Sugar is a traditional favourite of Abruzzo cuisine during Carnival time, but there’s no harm trying it all year round! The adding of sugar in the filling gives to this classic dish a touch of originality… for those who like rich strong tastes.


for the ravioli dough:

  • 600 gr Durum wheat
  • 4 eggs

for the filling:

  • 400 gr spinach
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • 700 gr Ricotta cheese (from Abruzzo farms)
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar

for the sauce:

  • 4 pork ribs
  • 2 pork rolls
  • 2 sausages
  • extra virgin olie oil
  • nutmeg
  • 500 gr. tomato sauce (possibly homemade)             


We start with the meat sauce.
Take a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the pork ribs, the pork rolls, the sausages and a pinch of salt, some spices if you like it. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the meat is golden brown.
When the meat is browned add the homemade tomato sauce.
Cook  on very low heat for about two hours. Stir occasionally and if it looks like drying out, add some hot stock.

Meanwhile make the ravioli pasta dough.
Put the flour on your working surface and make a well in the center. Break the eggs in the center and beat them inside. Add a pinch of salt. Mix all together and knead to form a dough.
Sometimes wet your hands with some water in order to help you knead the dough. Let the dough rest for a while.

Now, prepare the ravioli filling.
In a pot of boiling water, cook the spinach until tender. Squeeze out the water from the spinach and chop it up roughly. In a bowl mix all together spinach, ricotta, two eggs, the Parmesan cheese and grated nutmeg.

At the end add two tablespoons of sugar.

Take the dough cut small pieces and roll out the pasta dough into thin sheets.
To assemble the ravioli drop the filling mixture on the dough sheets by teaspoonfuls about one inch apart. Fold the dough and press firmly around the filling to seal. Cut into individual ravioli with a knife or pizza cutter.

Cook the ravioli in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water.

Take the pieces of meat out from the red sauce.
Pour some red sauce into a serving plate and add the ravioli. Add some more sauce on top and finally, sprinkle with some grated Parmesan cheese. 

Buon Appetito!
by Mamma Anna Maria

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2 thoughts on “Cooking with Mamma: Ravioli with Sugar”

  1. ciao., my mother from Vasto,Maria Tana would make the sweet ravioli but she added a little cinnamon. My grandmother also. Have you ever known this was typical? Curious.
    My grandmother would make Porchetta. Do you have the typical Vastese recipe?

    1. Ciao,

      thanks for your information. I’ve never heard about cinnamon, but it could be. It’s very curious. Normally we don’t make porchetta at home, so unfortunately we don’t have the recipe.Grazie and Buon appetito!

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