Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Home-made Ravioli

Note: This recipe uses the dough from this recipe.
Home-Made Ravioli

ground meat or ricotta cheese
lots of different spices
1-2 eggs

I made the dough on Saturday for Gnocchi. I didn't use it all so I froze it. After letting it sit out and defrost this is what I found.

It was quite gross looking, there was a hard crust covering it and the nice firm, elastic dough I had put into the freezer was now a horrible mush. See what happened when I pulled it apart?

Well, I had another bag of potatoes, but I was determined to see if I could salvage this dough. Before I tackled that, however, I decided to rummage around and see what we had in the house to use for filling.

Well there's not much in there, more potatoes for pasta if I completely botch this, that's a comfort at least.

Nothing much in here either. Hrmm, I don't feel like stuffing ravioli with ketchup and hot sauce so it's time to get creative!

Ok, here's what I've managed to scrounge.

I had my husband run over to his mom's and grind up what was left of our christmas turkey, there's half an onion, some celery (both left over from Christmas) I also have some poultry seasoning, sage, some parmesean cheese our roomate was foolish enough to leave behind, and some nasty cheap cheese.

Back to the dough, I've worked with it just a tiny little bit. In my last recipe I mentioned potato chunklets in the dough and how much of a pain they are. This is what they look like.

An odd thing happened. It seems that the dough's stint in the freezer broke down the spare potato chunks so they're very soft. I'll remember that next time making gnocchi, throw the dough in the freezer!

Ok, then, flour it and start kneading! We've got to get that crust worked back into the dough and more flour added because it's WAY too squishy.

And here's what the finished kneaded dough should look like. It's springy and firm but not as elasticly smooth as bread dough. If it's not dusted with flour it's sticky.

Then take your half of an onion and chop it up. Take 2-3 stalks of celery from the center, chop off the very bottoms, pull off the leaves and chop off the very top of the stalk. Chop up what's left.

Then take the onion and celery and sautee them in a little oil on the stove.

It's done when the onions turn clear. In this picture it's not done, but I got impatient and added the ground turkey to the mix and cooked it a while anyway. This made for a filling with crispy onions, it wasn't bad, but in retrospect I think I'll sautee them a bit longer next time.

Then, once your meat mixture is added to the veggies put it in a bowl and add 1-2 eggs and whatever other igredients, like spices, you want. I needed 2 eggs for everything to stick together. Here's a picture of the mix with the egg and another where I've formed it into a ball just to show I can.

Now it's time for the dough. Get the dough you made earlier and pull off a pice about the size of a fist and a half. Flour your working surface and make sure to keep the dough floured as you roll it out.

Once you have your dough rolled out cut it in half. Then take a spoon or a melon baller if you have one (I used the small side) and scoop your filling onto one side in a grid.

After that take water and brush it between the balls of filling. My husband walked in at this point and suggested that I should have just brushed the entire surface with water before I put the filling on. After this one that's exactly what I did.

Here I've already brushed the other side of the dough with water and laid it over the side with the filling on it. I smushed the little packets and pressed along the sides to get out air bubbles and seal the filling inside. After that take a knife and cut your pieces into squares.


After I made about half of the raviolis the above way I thought of an easier way. Everything is the same up until you cover over the filling. To make pockets take a shot glass and press it lightly down around the filling. Then, when that is done cut the ravioli out with a cookie cutter, or in my case a wine glass which is all I had.

If you want to add a little extra pizazz to your raviolis, say if you're making them to impress a guest, you can crimp the edges with the tines of a fork like so.

Next you need to bring a pot of water to a boil. Toss in a dash of salt then start dropping your raviolis in one-by-one.

They will sink at first but as they cook they will float. Once they are floating start poking them around with your spoon. They are done when the pasta is firm, not squishy or floppy. Feel free to taste-test one to make sure!
Here is what the round crimped style looks like. They are VERY filling. I only made half of what I could have made and it fed both my husband and I.