Parsley and Ricotta filled Ravioli

Parsley and Ricotta filled Ravioli

A couple of years ago I asked for a pasta maker for Christmas I wanted a manual one so if the power went out as long as I could still boil water I could make homemade pasta to help keep spirits high.

Homemade pasta is not hard to make, it is time consuming though. The first couple of times you make pasta you may wonder just what you are doing. Take my word for it after a couple of times you will feel like a pro. When you start making filled pasta is when it gets more difficult.

You can make pasta with All-purpose flour or Semolina flour, with or without eggs. I have used Semolina flour but usually use All-purpose flour I also use eggs. For this post I will be making parsley and ricotta filled ravioli.

For the pasta you will need

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 teaspoon olive oil

For the filling you will need

1 cup ricotta cheese

¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 large egg yolk

½ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

½ teaspoon salt

Ground black pepper

For the sauce you will need

1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes or whole tomatoes packed in juice

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small onion, minced

1 medium carrot, peeled and minced

Salt

2 tablespoon minced fresh basil or flat leaf parsley leaves

 

Let’s make the pasta first.

Firstly make a mound of the flour on a flat surface which is not porous and sprinkle the salt on top of the mound. This can be the kitchen counter or a plastic cutting board. Next make a well in the mound of flour. You can do this with a spoon, use your hand, or a large ladle. Once you have done this pour the eggs and oil into the well. Slowly mix the eggs into the flour using a fork. You should gradually drag small amounts of flour from the edge of the well into the mixture.

Knead the mixture using your hands adding more flour as you work the dough. Sprinkle the work surface with flour and put the mixed dough on the dusted surface. Sprinkle some more flour on top of the dough and continue to knead it. Continue kneading the dough until it is nice and smooth and firm. If the dough gets to dry and crumbly you can spray it with a little water and continue mixing until you get the right consistency. Do not be tempted to do too little kneading because the dough is likely to tear when you are rolling it out.

When you place the dough on a clean part of the work surface and it does not stick it means it is ready to shape. Make the dough up into portions suitable for making sheets of pasta. It is easier to deal with smaller amounts of pasta dough, so it is best to try and make balls of dough about the size of tennis balls. Once you are more experienced at forming the dough you can use larger balls.

You need to allow the pasta dough to rest so that the gluten in the dough has a chance to relax. The best way to do this is to put the dough balls in plastic wrap and leave them to sit at room temperature for about one hour. This will make the dough easier to work with by stopping it from shrinking and springing back as it is stretched.

You will find that the pasta dough made with All-purpose flour is softer then pasta dough made with Semolina flour.

While the pasta is resting let’s put the filling and the sauce together.

The Filling

Combine the ricotta, Parmesan, egg, parsley, salt, and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. The filling can be covered and refrigerated overnight.

The Sauce

If using whole tomatoes you must dice them. After dicing the tomatoes you need to add enough liquid from the can to make 2 2/3 cups.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and carrot; cook over medium heat until the vegetables are soften, but do not brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt; simmer until thicken, about 10 minutes. Stir in basil and adjust the seasonings. The sauce can be covered and refrigerated for 2 days.

 

 

 

Rolling out the pasta

If you have a pasta machine following the instructing that came with your machine.

If you are rolling your pasta out by hand using a rolling pin, roll your pasta out on a lightly floured surface. You want the pasta to be thin enough to cook quickly but not so thin that you cannot work with it. Place small amounts of the filling down the length of the pasta sheets(about 1 rounded teaspoon each) leaving enough space around each ball(about 1 ¼ inches between each ball of filling) so that when you fold over the top of the pasta you have room to cut the ravioli to seal the edge. Cut the ravioli using a 2×2 inch cutter.  Do this until you have made all of your raviolis. If the pasta starts to dry out brush lightly with water

Then cook in lightly boiling salted water so that they do not blow apart as they cook. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until pasta is al dente.  You may want to cook the pasta in smaller batches to keep it from sticking together, if this is the case then put the cooked pasta into the warm sauce to hold or serve immediately.

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