Made-From-Scratch Cheese Ravioli
This afternoon I conquered the mighty mystery of homemade ravioli. Ruth (Ryan's Mom) gave me her pasta maker and ravioli molder a couple weeks ago. To say I was stoked out of my mind to receive them is a complete understatement. I love love love them. Thank you!
I wanted to skip the regular spaghetti and linguine setting on the pasta maker, and head straight to the ravioli beastie. After all, I already had a good shot at making those two pasta styles a couple years ago.
I started out with a simple filling this time, but can't wait to try making ravioli with meat next time. The recipe I used for the cheese filling (adapted from my Mom's lasagne-filler) is as follows:
2 cups ricotta cheese
2/3 cup cottage cheese
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 cup Italian cheese mix
Put the cheese mixture in a "frosting" piping bag, with a circular tip. That way it would be much easier to dollop the mix inside the ravioli cups. Store the mixture in the fridge while you make your ravioli pasta "dough".
To make the pasta dough, I used THIS recipe (below). I also learned I need to make the dough MUCH thinner so it doesn't take forever to cook through - this will hopefully leave more room for filling than I had. I ended up with about a cup of leftover cheese filling. Next time, my friends, next time.
"Yield: about 1 lb. of fresh pasta
1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surfaces
1½ cups semolina flour (I couldn't find it at my local grocery store, so I just used regular flour instead)
½ tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. water, plus more as needed
Combine the flours and salt in a bowl or on a work surface, creating a well in the center (I just had my handy Kitchen Aid mixer plus the dough hook take care of business through these steps). Crack the eggs into the well. Using a mixer or by hand, slowly mix, incorporating the flour into the egg mixture a little bit at a time. Once you have a dry, shaggy dough, mix in the olive oil and water and knead by hand until the dough is fairly smooth and homogenous. Divide the dough into four portions and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 20 minutes. At this point, proceed with thinning (Using Ruth's pasta maker!) and cutting as desired, depending on equipment available.
(This is where I used the ravioli mold. I laid the flattened dough on the ravioli molds, pressed down in the little cups, piped the filling into the molds, and then laid another layer of flattened pasta dough on top. Then, here's the money step: I pressed down while rolling the wooden rolling pin over the entire mold - so the molding cut through the individual squares (you can kind of see the zig-zag molding in the picture below. This was before I put on the top layer).
To cook, cook noodles in a large pot of boiling (salted) water for 3-5 minutes or until al dente. (I had to cook mine much much longer, they were pretty thick). Drain well and serve immediately."
I know I'm still a beginner, and my part-Italian Mother-in-law will probably disown me for all the hard-core pasta-making rules I've broken (shield your eyes!) But I'm glad I tried - and will most certainly be making this again sometime.