Friday, June 20, 2008
ok these are not ravioli, but tortellini are more photogenic
Inspired by my friend Astrid's posting on fresh pasta, I dusted my pasta machine off and cranked out some ravioli. It was fun and yummy. I shaped some into tortellini because they are just so darn cute. My favorite part was the filling, which I love to eat on its own because the ricotta is so yummy here, so smooth and creamy. (I had some leftover and scrambled it up with some eggs, it was so good!) I learned a couple things:
- use plenty of flour. On previous attempts, my homemade pasta was always stuck together and was extremely difficult to roll out with only two hands (I've recruited my 3yr old to catch pasta while I cranked and fed in the dough - not recommended). But after watching lots of food TV about making pasta, I learned that pasta should be liberally floured at each stage. It works like a charm. I could fold my pasta sheet as it rolled out with no sticking at all.
- roll dough in small batches. Previously, my pasta sheets were so long, they reached across the room and were very unwieldly. I realized that if I just work with smaller bits of dough, the sheets are a manageable length. Seems obvious, I know. But sometimes I follow directions so precisely, thinking there must be a reason for the madness, instead of using common sense.
- wet filling makes for wet pasta. I made my ravioli at mid-day, leaving them on the counter to air-dry, and cooked them for dinner (the recipe said this was ok). After a few hours, the dough started to get soggy and stick to the parchment paper. I think this was because my spinach was a little too wet. I suppose more liberal flouring would have helped a bit there too.
- space ravioli filling closer together than you might think. I thought my filling was too close, but I ended up with lots of pasta between each ravioli, and thus, less ravioli.
- thickness??? The instructions said to roll to #6 on the pasta machine, but I thought the resulting cooked raviolis were much too thick. I'm going to try #7 next time and report on the results.
filling dolloped out and dough moistened, ready for folding
folded over into raviolis, ready for cutting
in squares, ready for tortellini shaping
The following recipes are adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
Mound flour on counter and create well in center. Break one egg in the flour well and use fork to beat egg and incorporate into flour. Repeat with other two eggs and mix until all flour is mixed with the eggs. Knead a couple minutes until dough forms a smooth ball. Cut the dough into 4-6 pieces and cover in plastic. One ball at a time, roll pasta out with pasta machine.
10 ounces spinach, blanched, drained, cooled and chopped finely (or use frozen - thaw it and drain thoroughly)
1 cup ricotta, drained for a few minutes in strainer
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Combine all ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings as necesary. Use to fill pasta immediately or refrigerate for up to a day before using.
6 tablespoons butter
20 to 20 fresh sage leaves or 1 tablespoon dried whole sage leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound pasta
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bring large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Add sage, salt and pepper. Cook until the butter turns a light brown, about 10 minutes. Cook ravioli in boiling water until they float, just a couple minutes. Drain ravioli and place in individual bowls. Spoon sauce over ravioli. Sprinkle with cheese.
Posted at 9:16 PM