This past weekend I was feeling a bit adventurous if you will and decided that it would be a great idea to attempt ravioli (for the second time, we just wont talk about the first time) and the testy of all thing Macrons (which is another post… coming soon!). I love making pasta and don’t make it enough, the biggest reason has been that I did not have a pasta machine. While I can roll it out relatively thin it is not super consistent so this weekend I rectified my lack of pasta machine by purchasing one. Now I seem to be on a kick of buying kitchen appliances that are not necessary while doing with out the most useful and handy appliances. For instance I just bought an Ice cream machine and I have a juicer but I do not have a blender, food processor, or any sort of automated mixing device (hand held or kitchen aid). I reason that I do not buy these ‘basics’ if you will because I want to buy a nice model , which I need to save for and living in the NYC area (Brooklyn to be exact) my kitchen space is limited. I make do with out such basics since they are in essence just making tasks you can do by hand easier but the more specialized things I can’t fake in the same way, so while that may not make a lot of sense it is my justification for such purchases.
Anyway moving on, this weekend I really wanted to make pasta and ravioli to be specific. Ravioli are one of my favorite things so I figured I might as well make my own since I have not had them in a while. I decided to make a mushroom, arugula, ricotta filling since I already had everything but the ricotta. For the actual pasta as per my usual route I went for the basic ratio for pasta dough in Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. I can not recommend this book enough, it is a great reference and makes it easy to really learn what you are doing and adapt the basic ratios for your needs. The filling was my own creation. As for making the ravioli themselves I have included a some basic instructions but if you need more guidance there is a lot of great resources out there on the web, the Good Eats: Use your Noodle II episode is an especially great basic resource.
Mushroom, Arugula, & Ricotta Ravioli
Serves 2 as a main dish
You will need
1 recipe of Pasta Dough (See below)
1 recipe of mushroom, arugula, ricotta filling (see below)
1 Large Stock Pot
Egg wash (one egg whisked with some water)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Colander or Spider
Prepare your pasta into sheets as described in the pasta recipe and method. I continued to work on my floured and fabric covered surface for the ravioli assembly (See Above)
Take your circle cutter and lightly score your 1st sheet of pasta. (I made circle ravioli because I was having a hard time making uniform squares.)
Take your egg wash and lightly brush your dough at the edge of your circle imprint (trying to stay inside the circle not outside).
Using a small spoon or a teaspoon, take a heaping teaspoon of your Ricotta mix and place it in the center of each circle imprint and repeat for all the imprints.
Once you have filling on all of your ravioli spots take another sheet of your pasta and lay it on top of your sheet with the filling.
Then carefully starting at one end press down around the filling making sure to get out all the air bubbles, and repeat for all raviolis.
Take your circle cutter and cut out each of your ravioli making sure to center your filling in the middle of the cutter when you are cutting.
Once you have cut out the ravioli take a fork and lightly crimp the edges of each ravioli. Keep the scraps to the side, you can re roll it out to make more ravioli or any other pasta.
Repeat with the rest of your pasta dough. Once you have made all your ravioli you can either cook them straight away or freeze them for later. If freezing I suggest laying a piece of wax paper or parchment paper down on a sheet pan and place a single layer of ravioli on it and put in the freezer until frozen. Once they are frozen you can dump them into a Freezer zip top bag a store.
If you are going to cook them right away bring a large pot of water to a boil adding about a teaspoon of salt per quart of water so that your water is nice and salty and will season the pasta well.
Lower the heat on your water so it is just simmering and add your ravioli. They don’t take very long to cook I think I cooked mine for about 2 minutes total.Once they rose to the top of the pot I let them cook a little longer and removed from the pot with a spider.
9 oz All Purpose Flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 Eggs (about 6oz)
Clean Cotton Fabric (a basic sewing muslin is a great choice and is available at all fabric stores for only a few dollars a yard)
In your bowl add the flour and create a well in the center and add the eggs.
Mix the eggs up with your fingers and slowly start incorporating the flour. Continue mixing until the dough starts to come together and turn out onto a floured work place and kneed for about 5 to 10 minutes until it becomes nice and smooth.
Divide your dough into 6 even pieces using your scale or by eye.
To set up your pasta making space lay out your fabric on a good long table space and clamp your pasta machine to the table over the fabric, then flour your fabric. The purpose of fabric and flour is to create a workspace that the dough will not stick to and so you can lay your rolled out pieces down while you finish the rest.
Take each piece and run it through your machine finishing at the second to the smallest setting (if you have never used a pasta machine there are a lot of great tutorials online).
I need to preface the below ‘recipe’ with the disclaimer that I did not measure anything when I made my filling and had some extra mushrooms and arugula. So this is more of a rough guide line of my process and the ingredients involved. Please use your own judgement and taste when making this.
1 package (about 10- 15 mushrooms) baby bella mushrooms caps only sliced into 1/4″ slices
1/2 bunch washed arugula (about 3 cups) chopped roughly into large pieces
7oz of Ricotta
1 Tablespoon of Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Large Saute pan
Heat up your pan on medium heat, once hot add in the butter, mushrooms, and some salt. Let sweat for about 5 minutes, then add the arugula into the pan with some more salt and some pepper and put the lid on the pan.
Let the vegetables cook for about 5 to 10 minutes until the mushrooms and arugula are soft and the flavors have melded well.
Transfer the mix to a cutting board making sure to leave the juice in the pan and chop everything into small 1/4″ pieces.
Transfer the chopped vegetables into the small bowl, add in the ricotta and mix together. Now you can use this mix for ravioli, stuffed shells, etc.