Happy 2012, friends! Hope you all rang in the New Year with the people you love. Sorry for the brief hiatus, I’ve been in Houston with the family for one of my brother’s bowl games. It was a short but fun visit. Before I left, I was dying to try out my new KitchenAid attachments, and my boyfriend happened to be visiting so I we had an authentic Italian night before we left.
Homemade ravioli was the first endeavor on my list! I learned how to make it in Italy and with my fancy new pasta roller, it was a fun and tasty project.
There is absolutely nothing better than homemade pasta, but after just one batch of ravioli for my family, I have a whole new appreciation for people who do this homemade thing everyday. It takes work, y’all. And lots of time in the kitchen. My bottomless-pit brothers were circling the kitchen like hungry buzzards. I couldn’t work fast enough! Also, I don’t have any pictures of the cooked raviolis because, well, I was too busy eating them. Whoops.
While I loved the process of kneading and rolling out the dough, I’m still quite fond of the good ‘ole box variety simply for the quick preparation. You can find many different recipes and varieties of making ravioli; everyone has their own preferences and tastes. I used pasta flour that I found at the local supermarket, it’s just a little bit finer than all-purpose (but that’ll work just fine too.) There’s just a little (not so secret) trick I learned in Italy about making the dough: form a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs, oil, and salt. Like this:
slowly work the edges of the well into the center with a fork while adding the water. This just helps to incorporate the ingredients a little better while cutting down on the messiness. Don’t worry, it’ll still be plenty sticky and gooey on your hands (and your counter.) But that’s the fun part! Make sure you chill the dough for an hour or so. I rolled out my sheets using the pasta attachment, like this: (introducing my boyfriend, the Hand Model)
but a rolling pin will work just fine, you might just have thicker raviolis that will need to cook a little bit longer. I made a basic cheese filling of mozzarella, parmesan, bread crumbs and seasonings. To be honest, I kind of winged it and don’t really have a recipe to share. But there are so many basic recipes you can find online! I’ll definitely be branching out next time to something more adventurous. Pear and gorgonzola? Sweet potato? Oh, the possibilities. In Italy I learned to let the pasta shine in the dish. We simply sauteed our ravioli in some olive oil and green onions and some pepper flakes added for kicks. I’ll jot down the recipe at the bottom if you want to give it a go.
This is such a fun project to take on; my boyfriend and I had some fun in the kitchen rolling out the dough and drinking a nice glass of wine. Not to mention it tasted good, too! Try your hand at this simple comfort food, you’ll love it and have fun in the process! Next post about a yummy pizza that accompanied the pasta 🙂
2 1/2 cups of pasta flour (I used Hodgson Mill)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt.
2/3 cup warm water
Form the pasta in a mound and make a well in the center. Add eggs in the well and sprinkle with the oil and salt. Add the water a little at a time, dragging the edges of the flour to the center, slowly working in the ingredients until all the water is added. Knead with your hands for a few minutes until dough is smooth and workable. Form into a ball and chill for at least an hour. Take a portion of the dough and either using a pasta roller of rolling pin, flatten the dough into a long rectangle. Place dollops of your desire filling on one side of the dough, and fold the other half over the tops. Press down around the filling, and cut with pizza cutter to form shapes. Press edges down with a fork to seal the edges and add a little fanciness. Boil in salted water for a few minutes, until the pasta floats to the top. Serve with desired sauce.
Add olivo oil, green onions, and red pepper flakes to a pan. Sautee until onions are translucent and oil is hot. Add the cooked ravioli for about a minute, until the pasta is coated in oil. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.