My family came for a visit and I promised them homemade ravioli. I can remember every year at Easter, my grandparents and their cousins made ravioli for the Easter meal. I also remember walking to the cousin’s house with my dad or uncle to get the ravioli box out of their freezer . To me, it was special to be the one to walk up the street to get the ravioli.
Phil and I took an afternoon and made the ravioli and used our own freezer. No need to walk up to a relatives house which is good since we don’t have any relatives within walking distance.
First we decided to make cheese ravioli and as a second thought, Phil requested sausage ravioli. I will say this was a learning experience. We made fresh pasta in long strips that got so long it was funny. I used olive oil in the dough this time and it made a huge difference.
Ok so here is the recipe for the dough that I used this time.
3 cups unbleached flour
2 large eggs
3 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Put flour in a bowl or on a flat surface. Make a well in the center. Mix the eggs, oil, water and salt in a measuring cup. Pour the wet mixture slowly into the flour and mix with your 2 fingers until all of the wet is incorporated. Do not force the dough to take all of the flour. Turn out the dough onto a flat surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Work with one part at a time, keeping the other parts wrapped.
Make a disc and using the pasta machine start rolling out the dough on the widest setting first. Put it through at least 2 times on each setting until you get to the last one and you should have a long long strip of dough. If you need it to be a manageable length, cut it in half and work with that strip. Just remember what setting you last put it through before you cut it in half. Each strip should be about 5 to 6 inches wide.
Lay out the strips on a floured surface and using a pastry brush and some water, brush the tops and bottoms of the strip of dough.
Next add the filling to the bottom half of the dough, spacing it out every 2-3 inches.
Next, take the top of the dough and fold it over the filling. This was a two person job so we don’t have an action photo. It should look like this when folded.
I just trimmed the edge to make things even. Next I pressed the edges together to seal the dough into little pockets around the filling as you can see above. Then using a fluted pastry wheel, which I finally bought, cut between each pillow and along the front edge to seal.
Carefully pick up each ravioli and place on a cookie sheet covered with cornmeal or flour and place in the freezer to set. Once frozen we were able to stack them in layers with waxed paper between them. These will keep in a sealed container for a few weeks.
The fillings we used were ricotta cheese and sausage.
Ricotta cheese filling
2 cups of ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon fresh parsely, chopped
salt and pepper
Sausage filling was basically browned bulk Italian sausage but I did not use a binder, which was a mistake. I should have added in an egg or two, I will next time.
I do not have a photo of the finished product with the sauce and braciole I made along with the ravioli as we were all too busy cooking and then eating the feast.