Monday, February 7, 2011

Homemade Ravioli

I spent 2 weeks in Italy during the summer of 2010, and I have never had such good pasta in my life. The trip inspired me to try to make my own fresh pasta, and I started this lesson with making Ravioli.

Note: At the time I write this post I have made ravioli on three different occasions, and I have achieved what I think is a good dough proportion. This is not necessarily the recipe that I used in my first attempt!

  • 3 C Flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • NOTE: This does not scale up very well. If you want to do a double batch, then I recommend making the dough in two separate batches, especially if you are mixing by hand!

Instructions for creating the dough

  1. Put flour in a bowl, and crack the eggs into the center. Add oil, and mix slowly until you get a consistent dough. (If you need more liquid, use some of the egg whites remaining from the yolks.)
  2. Kneed the dough
  3. Cover the dough in plastic wrap, and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
  4. Roll the dough out as thin as possible, and cut for fettuccine or ravioli.

My dough is "resting"

My desire to make homemade ravioli was so great that I started making the dough without giving thought to the fillings! So I searched through my refrigerator, and cut up some precooked turkey kielbasa and mixed it with caramelized onions. (I don't have a recipe for this, but if you want to try it maybe you can replicate the proportions by looking at the image below.)

The filling for my first homemade ravioli.

I rolled out the pasta dough as thin as I could... by hand. I do not recommend trying to roll this dough out by hand as it is really hard to make it thin. The resulting pasta still tastes good, you just have to cook it longer. (My shoulders hurt the next day from the effort of rolling the dough thin enough. I put a cutting board on the floor so I could use my full body weight in the rolling.)

Using a drinking glass as a template, I cut circles out of the dough, then put a little bit of filling in the center of each one. I rubbed some egg yolks mixed with water around the edge of the circle to help "glue" the ravioli together. Note: You want to use a little bit of egg so the dough becomes sticky, this is less than you may think. If you use too much egg, the dough becomes slippery and then it won't stick.

Finally, I put the folded ravioli on a floured pan. When the cookie sheet was full, I placed it in the freezer so the ravioli would not stick to each other.

It took about 8 minutes for these ravioli to cook. If the dough is thinner, it would take a lot less time!

What did I do with the remaining dough (the scraps from the circles)? I rolled it out, cut it into strips of a fettuccine? Linguine? I'm not good with my pasta shapes! After cutting the dough, I twisted it and stretched it a bit to make the noodles thinner.

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