Ravioli

IMG_20160228_181634547I made goat cheese and what is perfect for goat cheese? Ravioli! Hubby was out of town over the weekend so I surprised him with it when he came home. I love making pasta so it was as much for me as for him (maybe even a little more for me….)

I mixed the goat cheese with an egg and seasonings— a crushed garlic clove, thyme, savory and some S & P. It was simple but perfect!

Pasta is so much fun to make and it is so good. I use both pasta flour (00 flour) and semolina in equal quantities for ravioli. One egg for every 3/4 C flour- for this recipe I used 1 1/2 C flour (combined measure) and 2 eggs. Mix it up and add a little water if it is dry. I always seem to add a bit of water. I combine this in my kitchen aid mixer. After combined I set it up with the knead hook and let it go for several minutes. Let the dough rest for 20 – 30 minutes. Or you can refrigerate it and use it later in a couple of days. Just remove it from fridge for about 30 minutes before rolling.

Some roll pasta by hand with a rolling pin. Some have the automatic roller that you can get to attach to the Kitchen Aid. I am somewhere in the middle. I have a hand crank pasta roller which I love. If you have not used one before, pinch off some dough – a little larger than a golf ball. Start at level 1 or 0 (however yours in marked). Take the dough multiple times through the first setting. It will start to feel good and get pliable. Then put the sheet of pasta through the pasta machine and increase your number on your dial on setting at a time. For ravioli I don’t go beyond 5. It seems to get too thin and falls apart. Roll two pieces so you have a top and bottom for your raviolis.IMG_20160228_182708657

Put a little filling down. This is the hard part! I mean a little – 2 teaspoons or so. Too much will either seep out or not close up well. So control is the key!

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Then wet the edges and between the filling with water using a pastry brush. The idea is that when you add the top pasta sheet you want them to stick together. Press it together and use a knife, ravioli cutter or a cookie cutter (biscuit cutter) to cut them out.

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To cook place them in gently boiling water for 12 – 15 minutes. I know that may seem long AND you will find all different times out there. But homemade pasta is thicker and just seems to take a bit to cook. You will know what works for you after trying it a couple of times.

A couple spoonfuls of sauce from the Italian tomatoes I canned from last summer’s crop created perfection!

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And hubby liked it too. 🙂

Do you have a favorite recipe you love to make?

Happy cooking!

FGU

 

 

 

Ravioli: Throw Down of the Gadgets!

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.

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VS.

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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.

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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.

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Success!  I had lots of ravioli and into the pot of water they headed.

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They cook fast– 6 minutes or so.  Then I topped with a little sauce, fresh Parmesan and some steamed broccoli.

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Lessons

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!)

FG