I’ve wanted to try homemade ravioli ever since I figured out how to make homemade pasta. A Valentine’s Day with wind chills in the negative degrees provided a perfect opportunity to stay home and accomplish this somewhat scary goal– and the hubby even helped! The pasta part really is a two person job. It is also time consuming but SO worth it. The best part is you can use any filling your heart desires. I couldn’t decide what to do so I made 4: 1) mushroom, truffle & goat cheese, 2) spinach, arugula and basil, 3) broccoli rabe and 4) ricotta and basil. This recipe made us about 50 ravioli. Keep in mind they are great to freeze so if you’re putting in the work, you might as well make a lot!
For the pasta:
- 5 cups of flour
- 8 eggs at room temperature
- 1/4 cup water
For the fillings:
Make sure you buy high quality cheese–fresh ricotta if you can. This will make a big difference in the final product.
Truffle Mushroom & Goat Cheese:
- Sautee one package of mixed mushrooms in oil and truffle butter. Season with sea salt and cracked pepper. Put the mushrooms in a blender and pulse. Then put in a bowl and add about 3 oz of goat cheese and some fresh parmigiano cheese.
Broccoli Rabe & Garlic
- I bought fresh roasted broccoli rabe and garlic with red pepper flakes from A&S fine foods in Stamford. I can’t make a better broccoli rabe and it takes out a few steps. If you are going to do it yourself you should par boil the broccoli and then sautee. Then put it in a blender and pulse. I added ricotta and fresh parmigiano cheese.
Spinach, Arugula & Basil
- Sautee spinach and arugula in some olive oil. You have the option to add chopped garlic as well. Put in processor and pulse. Add ricotta and parmigiano.
Make a well with your flower in a bowl and add the eggs and water to the center. Scramble the eggs with a fork and slowly bring flour into the egg mixture. This process takes a while. Be patient- you will probably think you did something wrong because the flour isn’t combining right away. Just keep working it.
Once you have incorporated all the ingredients, sprinkle some extra flour on the counter and knead the dough with your hands. You will probably have to put some flour on your hands so it doesn’t stick. You should work the dough for quite a few minutes with your hands until it smoothed out.
Then place it in a bowl, put a dash of olive oil on it and rub it all over the dough. Then cover the bowl with a dish towel. Let it rest.
My great grandmother used to roll the dough with a large rolling pin when she made pasta every week. That, I can’t imagine! I use my grandmother’s pasta machine which is much easier. I feed the pasta through twice on 8, twice on 6, twice on 4 and once on 2.
Although now they do make machines to do it for you–whichever way you choose is fine.
When you are ready, roll the dough into a log and cut evenly into pieces.
You may want to cut only one piece at first to make sure it’s the right width. Making ravioli isn’t a science but I can already tell that the more you make these, the easier it will become.
Spoon out your mixture on to the pasta sheets. We learned after a few times that pressing the filling down to flatten it out will make a better ravioli.
We started by making square ravioli which we were messier to eat but it’s really just a matter of preference.
I don’t have fancy ravioli tools so I grabbed a pizza cutter and a fork. It worked!
What worked even better was when we found a small glass jar to cut the round ones.
I placed them on parchment paper with cornmeal to prevent them from sticking.
To cook: bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. You don’t want a very high boil as it could damage all the work you just did! They cook in roughly 3 minutes.
For sauce: I found truffle butter and parmesan cheese on the mushroom ones were amazing! I also made a white wine and butter sauce with shallots and parsley that was delicious. And we had a few with tomato sauce. You can’t go wrong!
The cooked product! Yum!
And some with sauce…. Yum, yum, and yum!
One year later on Christmas day we made these again. It’s such a fun family activity–I highly recommend it! This time we made a pesto sauce and a red sauce. Mmmm mmm mmm!
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