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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Homemade Ravioli


I love pasta. But, I have this thing about paying for pasta at an Italian restaurant since it's so cheap to make yourself. Once in a blue moon I will agree to go to Olive Garden just so that I can have some yummy Fettuccine Alfredo that I don't have to make. And that blue moon usually only comes around when someone gives us a gift card to the joint.

Despite being on Pinterest, every once in a while I still like to go through my cookbook collection. One of my favorites is a cookbook that has both recipes and "hit" stories in it that my mom bought me called The Mafia Cookbook by Joseph "Joe Dogs" Iannuzzi. My hardcover 1993 version is no longer available, but there is a newer version called The Mafia Cookbook: Revised and Expanded that has more stories and 37 more recipes. Looks like this one is going really fast too as at the time I'm writing this, Amazon says they have one left! I've always been intrigued by the Mafia and that's why my mom thought I'd enjoy this. And right she was! My daughter has also lovingly nicknamed me J-Dogg, which I wasn't too fond of at first LOL. So, thumbing through my book - despite the stories that could make you lose your appetite - I was in the mood for one of my favorite pastas, either ravioli or tortellini. Since all you can pretty much get in the store are either only filled with meat or cheese, I decided it would be fun to make my own ravioli. Imagining the possibilities of what I could put inside them was making me giddy excited! So, I quickly ordered the  Regular Ravioli Mold Makes 2.0" Ravioli - Made in USA so I could make my own. And yes, you read that right, MADE IN THE USA! It looks like this:


 There was a little pamphlet that came with the molds that has a basic recipe for dough and one for a meat or cheese filling. I already had an idea of what I wanted to put in it, so I just used the basic dough recipe. Super easy - 2 cups flour, 2 eggs well beaten, 1/2 tsp salt and 2 Tbsp warm water. That's it!


All you have to do is put your flour & salt on your work space in a mound. Make a well in the center and add the eggs & water. At this point I was reaching for my camera to show you a picture because it looked pretty neat and all the sudden my water & egg started taking off running all over.... needless to say I didn't get a picture and tip: make sure your "well" is deep. ;) So I then dug right in mixing everything together. Add more water if need be to make the dough smooth and malleable. Knead it until smooth and then let it rest 15 minutes covered. I just covered with a clean cotton towel.

During those 15 minutes I decided to get my fillings ready. I wanted to do half ricotta cottage cheese (since that's what I had) with my homemade basil pesto and half with butternut squash (already had some roasted, mashed & frozen from last year in the freezer that I thawed.) So I poured my cottage cheese into a strainer over a bowl to get rid of most of the liquid. Then I added one of my pesto cubes I had thawed (again, made basil peso & froze in ice cube trays for whenever I wanted fresh pesto!) and added some Parmesan cheese.


For the squash filling, I added some fresh grated Parmesan and a pinch of nutmeg.


 So, I have my dough that's ready and my fillings prepared. Divide your dough into half or thirds, depending on how many raviolis you have in your mold. My dough recipe said it'd make 3 dozen. Now it's time to put those muscles to the test and roll out the dough. Sadly, I found out through this process I would not make a very good Italian wife as I'm too wimpy. It was really hard to roll out the dough thin enough with just a rolling pin. Suffice to say, I am now on the hunt for a good pasta roller. I'm thinking about the Norpro 1049R Pasta Machine, Red as the reviews were better than some I read and it seems to be sort of middle of the road model. Do you have a pasta roller to recommend?

 Anyway, roll the dough out thin as you can and make it at least as wide as the mold and twice as long.


Take the footed part of the mold and lightly spray it with cooking spray. Lay your dough across the top of it, matching the end of your dough with the end of the mold. 


Then take the dimpled mold and set it on top, pressing down to make the pocket indentations. 


My indentations sort of popped back up when I took the mold off but I could still see where they were and pushed them down a little bit gently with my fingers. I filled half with the squash and half with the cheese filling. I used about a teaspoon of filling for each one.


Then take a cup of water and dip your finger it in, and trace all around the edges of the mold and in between each ravioli. This will help seal the dough.

Grab the other end of your dough and fold it back over the filled molds.


Then take your rolling pin and roll over the mold from one end to the other, pressing hard enough to cut the dough. Roll it both the length and width.


Grab a cookie sheet and lightly flour it.  (Don't add wax paper like I did, just flour the pan.) Take your mold and flip it upside down for your raviolis to fall out.


If they aren't cut all the way, just take a knife or a pasta cutter (yes, I bought that along with my molds!) and cut them. 


Then, roll out more dough and do it all over again!

Once you have all your raviolis made, start a pot of salted water to boil. You don't need a rolling boil, but a mild boil is good. Add your pasta in batches, being careful not to overcrowd your pot. They will sink to the bottom when you put them in, and rise to the top when done, typically in about 2-3 minutes. It really depends on how thin you rolled your dough, but rising to the top will let you know.

When at the top, remove with a slotted spoon and put in a dish.

 See? You just made a batch of ravioli! How fun was that? 
Magnifico!!!

Next, you get to decide what sauce to use. I had some plain sauce that I jazzed up by sauteing some garlic, onion, mushroom and tomatoes and adding that to it. Serve your sauce over your pasta and add some cheese.


Serve with any veggies, a salad and some garlic bread if you have some (which I didn't) so we just had a loaded salad with it.



Wasn't that fun? Next I want to make a spicy meat filling and another one with the cheese & my pesto as that was really good. And maybe some pumpkin filled ones for fall.... oooh, the filling possibilities are endless and it would be fun coming up with different flavored pasta dough too! Do you have a favorite ravioli recipe you'd like to share?

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2 comments:

FarmgirlUnleashed said...

Thank you! I make our pasta and have a ravioli maker but have not yet used it! I don't know why as I love making pasta. BUT now I just have to do this! You have inspired me. Pinning this too! Thanks. I would love for you to share this on a blog hop I host as well--http://farmgirl-unleashed.com/2013/09/farmgirl-friday-blog-hop-126-giveaway/.

Jill P. said...

Hey FarmgirlUnleashed, thanks for stopping by! You should definitely use your molds, they're fun! I'd love to share this post, but it says under rules I have to write a post about being a farm girl? I will go ahead but hope that's OK. Thanks! ~ Mama Ging

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