A couple weeks ago, my roommates and I decided to make homemade pasta that then turned into homemade raviolis. I used a recipe from The Frugal Gourmet Cook Italian by Jeff Smith. This also happens to be the first recipe for homemade dough that I’ve ever tried, so if you know of any awesome fresh pasta recipes post a link in the comments! I’d love to check them out. Anywho, this recipe went together very very smoothly, especially since I used a food processor. I just pulsed everything together until it was combined and then I gave it a few quick pulses to kneed it. Then I just wrapped it in some plastic wrap let it sit for 30 minutes. After the rest I cut the dough in to fourths and started rolling.
I rolled it 3-4 times on the first stop (1) and then rolled it once on 2 – 6. 6 seemed to be the right thinness/thickness. Again with the request for comments on how thinly you roll pasta for raviolis! I’m a complete novice!
Pasta always intimidated me. The rolling, the flouring, the rolling some more. I don’t know why bread doesn’t intimidate me or why macarons don’t make me quake in the kitchen, but pasta always has. In reality making fresh pasta is so simple and easy, it does take more planning than say going to the cupboard and getting the dried stuff or going to the freezer to get the bag of raviolis but its really quite simple.
The filling I decided on was from Giada de Laurentiis’ book Everyday Italian. The coolest thing about making these, for me, was making the divots for filling to go in. I placed the pasta dough on a ravioli tray and then used what looked like the bottom of an egg carton (it wasn’t, it was a plastic piece that I assume is sold with the tray) to actually make the divots. It was so slick and nifty.
To cut the raviolis, you covered the filling with another piece of dough and then used a rolling pin to flatten the two pieces of the dough together that caused them to press against the metal design and cut through the dough. Also slick and cool.
In the end it was absolutely delicious and we made enough to have some left over. The raviolis froze beautifully and now they really are just like buying store bought ones, only much much more delicious.
adapted from The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Italian by Jeff Smith
The instructions for rolling out the door are for using a counter top hand crank method.
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour (use bread flour, not all purpose)
1 cup seminola flour (I used more bread flour since I didn’t have any seminola flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water, more as needed
Place flour(s) and salt in a work bowl of your food processor that’s fitted with a mixing blade and pulse a few times to combine.
Add eggs, olive oil and water and pulse until a dough forms. The dough should resemble pie crust dough.
Pulse a few more times to knead the dough. Turn dough out onto some plastic wrap and then let rest for 30 minutes.
To roll out the dough:
Cut the dough into quarters. Working with one quarter at a time, flour the dough liberally and then roll through the largest setting on the machine 3-4 times. Reflouring and folding the dough in thirds each time before passing it back through the machine. Then move down one size smaller on the roller and pass the dough through it once. Repeat, flouring as necessary, until you get your desired thinness. Repeat with the remaining three quarters.
Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli Filling
adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
1/4 cup plus 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black better, plus more to taste
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
Saute 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add in button mushrooms and salt and pepper. Saute until liquid has evaporated from mushrooms – about 6 minutes.
Add in spinach and continue to saute for another 2 minutes.
Transfer mixture to the bowl of your food processor, pulse until the mixture forms a coarse texture.
Transfer the spinach mixture into a large work bowl and stir in the parmesan and mascarpone cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste