I have been making pasta for a while now. I love, love, love to make it. It is easy and so superior to any store bought dried pasta. And economically, like most things you make yourself, it is cheaper.
Last month in MJFarm Magazine they had pages of pasta. Once again ravioli on my radar as I have a new ravioli maker. You know,” one of those cool rectangles that you put the dough in and then the filling and then it all comes out pretty and perfect” ravioli makers. I got this one at a really great price on clearance and I was truly convinced that this device would change my life and lead me away from my “pasta wheel” days.
Little did I know that my evening would end up being a throwdown between the new ravioli gadget and my tried and true pasta wheel.
First the recipe. Pasta dough is easy. I use two ingredients to start with for all pasta. Italian Flour (which is 00 flour), pronounced double zero flour. You can get this at King Arthur Flour. It makes light and airy pasta. You can use regular flour, semolina or mix them, but I am sold on 00 flour. BUT don’t let not having this stop you; homemade pasta IS homemade pasta.
For every 3/4 C add 1 egg. Mix in your mixer, food processor or on a counter. Knead until it all comes together and forms a nice ball. You can use after about 30 minutes or refrigerate and use within 3 days.
If you want to, you can flavor your pasta with lemon pepper, seasonings, beet juice, spinach that has been cooked and pulverized, etc. Last night I had some pizza sauce left from the weekend and pesto that I had frozen in the summer. I mixed the two up and added a couple tablespoons. The pasta wasn’t overwhelmingly flavored but was nice tasting and pretty too. You can use your imagine here; the sky is the limit.
For the filling I mixed 8 oz. cream cheese, 1 C (generous) of shredded Asiago and 1 C of shredded Amish Butter Cheese. As I side note, I have never used Amish Butter Cheese in pasta before. But snowbound and lacking in a grocery shopping trip in weeks, I am getting very creative in my choices. We were out of mozzarella, so I had to “go to the bench” as they say in baseball.
I don’t have pictures, but I proceeded to roll out the pasta in sheets, I followed the gadget’s directions play by play (I am darn good at following directions) and I completed the process of making perfectly shaped, cheesy filled, tomato basil ravioli. That was until I tried to remove them from handy dandy gadget. They would not come out. I mean they were one with the ravioli maker and there was no way they were coming out easy or in anything that would resemble a ravioli square!! They hit the trash can. Not a pretty picture, but had to share.
Lucky for me, I had doubled the pasta recipe in hopes of pasta later this week. I rolled it out again in sheets and tossed aside my new fancy gadget. Some things get a second chance and others just don’t. I was determined to have pasta and this thing had not given me even a ray of hope that it was the ticket.
“Pasta wheel, you are up! Get off the bench and come play.
You can save the game (or at least dinner)!”
I laid out the sheets of pasta, added little spoonfuls of filling a couple of inches apart and then topped with another sheet of pasta. Then my tried and true pasta wheel did the rest. Perfect lines, no sticking, just wonderful ravioli heading to dry a bit on the cookie sheet.
Success! I had lots of ravioli and into the pot of water they headed.
They cook fast– 6 minutes or so. Then I topped with a little sauce, fresh Parmesan and some steamed broccoli.
One–tried and true is best even if it is a simple gadget it is dependable!
Two– I can be very creative with no fresh groceries in the house. The pantry, freezer and I are becoming quite ingenious in our meals.
Three-ALWAYS make double pasta dough! You never know….
Happy Unleashing (and go make some pasta!)