How To Tuesday: Ravioli

Ravioli in butter sage sauce

Ravioli in butter sage sauce

Welcome to How-To Tuesday.  I’ll be taking recipes and breaking them down into easy steps to show you how to make create them in your kitchen and make your Nonna proud.  Even the hardest recipe can be mastered if you take your time, follow the steps and have some fun!

Everyone loves ravioli.  Delicious little pockets of pasta filled with creamy cheese and laced with sauce or butter are hard to resist.  You can find them in the freezer section of any grocery store.  What you may not know; is that with a little time and patience, you can make them from scratch.  The homemade variety are so light, delicate and fluffy, frozen ravioli will seem like hockey pucks.

Veronica, 6 / alessandra, 8

Veronica, 6 / alessandra, 8

It starts with a simple pasta dough, then blending some cheeses into a filling and finally, putting it all together.  Making pasta dough is very simple, especially if you have a food processor and don’t mind using a little elbow grease.  After the flour and eggs are combined into a shaggy dough, you need to form a ball and knead for 10 minutes.  The final dough ball should be very smooth and should bounce back when you press it with your finger.

If you have a pasta rolling attachment for you Kitchen Aid, the pasta can be rolled into sheets, starting at #1 and dialing up to 5, passing the dough through each thickness twice.

Or, if you channel Nonna and get a rolling pin, just cut the dough into four pieces (same for the dough using the Kitchen Aid) and roll it out until it is very thin.  You should be able to see your knuckles when you lay your hand under the sheet.

Once the filling is made, you can use a ravioli maker (see picture) to create perfect, uniform ravioli or simply lay the sheet down and place a teaspoon of cheese on one side of the dough, about an inch apart and then fold the sheet over the filling, meeting the other end.  Make the individual ravioli by cutting each cheese pocket into a square and pressing each side to seal the dough closed.

Place the raviolis into boiling water and cook them until they float to the top.  Remove each one as they appear on the surface and lay them on a clean baking sheet.

In a separate sauté pan, melt some butter slowly and cook until the butter begins to brown.  Throw in a few sage leaves, a pinch of salt and some pepper.  Swirl it in the butter for a few minutes and then remove it from the heat or the butter will burn. 

Lay the raviolis in the butter and toss the little pockets until the butter clings to them.

Serve with a sprinkle of parmigiano cheese.

Buon Appetito!

Cheese Raviolis

Ingredients Dough

2 cups AP Flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon fine cornmeal
4 eggs
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
water, if needed

Directions

Place flour, salt, cornmeal in the food processor and turn it on.  Crack each egg and add them to the flour mixture one by one.  Finally, add the oil.  If the dough does not come together, add a teaspoon of water one at a time, until it does.  In contract, if the dough is too wet, add a teaspoon of flour, one at a time, until it starts to come together.

Remove the dough from the processor and place it on a clean, floured surface.  Gather it up into a ball and knead it until it is smooth and looks like a ball.  You must knead the dough for at least, 10 minutes.

Let the dough rest for ½ hour.  Make the filling.

Ingredients Filling

1 cup of ricotta, drained of excess liquid
1 cup mozzarella, cut into a ¼ inch dice
1 cup parmigiano cheese, grated

Directions

Mix all three cheese into a bowl.  Set aside until dough is ready.

After dough is rolled out, place 1 teaspoon of cheese 1 inch apart on one side of the sheet.  Fold the other side of the sheet over the cheese to meet both sides together.  If you have a ravioli maker, place the sheet over the mold, place the cheese in each pocket and lay another sheet on top.  Use a rolling pin to seal the two sheets and cut the dough.

Individually place each ravioli into a pot of boiling water and remove them when they float to the top.

Ingredients Sauce

1 stick butter
2 sage leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
½ cup parmigiano cheese, grated

Directions

In a large sauté pan, melt butter until it begins to brown.  Toss in sage leaves, salt and pepper and swirl pan to incorporate.  Remove from heat and add cooked ravioli.  Toss the pan gently until the butter clings to the pasta.

Cheese Ravioli: Step By Step

Cheese Ravioli: Step By Step