Today is the last day of my summer break. I’m sitting on the couch watching Band of Brothers with a fan in my face because its been too hot for too long. I didn’t get everything on my to-do list done but I did get a lot done and let me say I am ready to get back to school I am missing a bit of structure in my life! Yesterday I finally got to make home-made ravioli, now originally I was going to make just home-made pasta but after looking at a few different recipes I decided it was too boring and really it was just noodles and there was no ta-da about it. These ravioli were the best I have ever had and not just because I made them, they tasted so fresh and the filling was light and flavorful! I was in shock. Now making ravioli does take a few hours, when I first read on the recipe that it took a few hours I pretty much laughed and said yeah right, but no it takes a few hours and it’s because of the dough. I combined two recipes and it worked beautifully! the first recipe I tried for dough sucked so I scrapped it and started over, man was I glad I did!
I first started with the filling because the filling needs to cool in the fridge before you can fill the ravioli.
5 spicy italian sausage links
1 large onion
2 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
salt and pepper
garlic (fresh or powder, I used powder)
I chopped up the onion and cut the sausage out of the casings, I then heated up a pan with a little olive oil in it. I cooked the sausage and onions till the onions were cooked and the sausage was no longer pink and then I added the garlic till it smelled just right. My advice with garlic powder is honestly don’t be afraid to add too much because you probably wont! I always add a ton of what ever spices I’m using and I always get great results. Use a slotted spoon to put the sausage and onion mix in a blender or food processor (I used a blender) and then add 1/4 cup olive oil and the ricotta cheese, blend and mix till you get a smooth mixture, taste and add salt and pepper till perfect. Then place in the fridge to cool while you work on the dough.
After I made the filling I cleaned up a bit because I had already made quite a mess. Once the kitchen was back in order I started on the dough, now the first recipe SUCKED! All it was, was flour, eggs and olive oil and let me tell you it was this tough pile of dough that was seeping olive oil, I couldn’t even knead the dough so I threw it right out and found a different recipe. Here it is:
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
extra flour for dusting
Add the olive oil, water and salt to the already beaten eggs and beat with mixer till mixed. Add in one cup of flour at a time till combined. Once you are done you should have a lovely dough that is soft and ready for kneading. Knead on a flour dusted board until it is smooth through out and elastic (when you pull the dough it doesn’t tare right away it has a pull to it). Get a rolling-pin and dust it to prevent sticking. Roll out flour till it is about as thick as 2 quarters stacked, then start cutting out circles, (I used a cutter that I normally use for crumpets, it’s the perfect size) cut the pieces and lay them in a pan. When you are done with all the dough ( you may have to roll it out a few times to get it all cut out) grab the filling, a table-spoon, a fork and a cup of water.
Prepare a cookie sheet by dusting it with flour and set it near your workspace, grab a chair and sit down. Take the dough, work it out a little bit with your hands, scoop a tablespoon full of filling into the middle, dip your finger in the water and put a little water around the edge of the dough. Fold the dough over and press down, then with a fork, seal the ravioli and place it on the pan. Repeat this till you run out of dough or filling.
If you are not going to make the ravioli right away cover the cookie sheet in plastic wrap and stick them in the freezer till they are ready to be boiled (this is what I did) If you are going to leave them there for a while, let them set for an hour (in the freezer) then store them in a freezer bag till you want to use them (I would say use them within a week)
When you are ready to cook them, bring a pot of water to boiling and add salt and olive oil, cook 10 ravioli at a time. When they float to the top they are done, 4-6 minutes. Then with a slotted spoon, place them gently in a dish while you cook the others. These are amazing plain or with marinara sauce. Enjoy!
If you happen to have extra filling, as I did here’s what you can do:
Boil some pasta depending on how much filling you have left, once the pastas done, drain and pour in to a greased pan and mix in the extra filling till it is all combined, sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on top and bake at 375 till the top browns.