Awesome Recipes, Italian
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Easy Peasy Radiant Ravioli

ravioli I remember the first time I made pasta, it was epic, I’m not saying it was perfect, it was EPIC.

We had some friends coming over, got our aprons on, cracked numerous eggs, got started and in no time we were all-covered in flour.

Many years had to past until I attempted making pasta again, but this time I did a thorough research, cross referenced many recipes and took a plunge.

The first result was very decent and like many things, with some practice my skills have improved. I went from making farfalle to linguini, lasagne and ravioli.

Making pasta is surprisingly  simple, however you must learn to differentiate simple from fast.

The process does take time and above all working space, but once you taste the freshness of your own pasta, and feel that lovely  sense of accomplishment, you will want to make it again and again.

To make the dough:

200g feeds 3 with small second helpings, so make as much as you need.
For every 100g of strong white flour you will need:
  • 1 big egg
  • 1 pinch of salt
    Semolina to dust your working surface.

Why Semolina? Unlike wheat flour, semolina won’t turn into a glue when you boil it, it will simply sink into the bottom of the pot when you boil the ravioli.

You can use a pasta machine, but if you don’t have any, a good old wine bottle will do the trick.

Method:

In a Bowl mix the egg with the flour and salt, start incorporating them by hand and when it comes together knead it briefly on your working surface until the ingredients are perfectly combined.

This a very tough hard dough so don’t get scared if it doesn’t have any resemblance to bread dough. 
Cover with cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Remove the cling film and flatten the pasta with your hands, dust your working surface with semolina and and start rolling the dough using a wine bottle.
Roll out the dough until it stretches to about 40 cm. Fold in thirds and repeat.
However if you are using a pasta maker, you must begin with the loosest setting which is 0 and roll the dough out at least 2 times, 4 if possible.
Fold the long dough in thirds and repeat.
Continue with the next setting which is one and follow the same process, carry on until you reach 5 or 6.

In the end you need to have two long sheets, one for the base and other for the top. It is said that the perfect thickness is the one of a playing card, don’t push yourself the first time but that would be the ideal point.
Make sure your working surface is perfectly dusted with semolina otherwise the dough will stick and rip after you place the filling.

Basic filling:

  • Spinach & Ricotta.
  • 2 cups of chopped spinach leaves
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp saltPepper

Method:

Place the spinach in a colander and slowly pour 1 lt. of boiling water on it. Let it drain, then press it with a silicone spatula to squeeze the water out. 

Transfer to a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.

Mix vigorously with a spoon until you have an even  smooth mix.
Scoop 1 big tsp of filling and place about 2.5 cm from the end of one sheet and just in the middle.

Continue placing dollops leaving about 2.5 cm between each one. 

Keep a glass with fresh water and using a burtsh or your fingers, lightly brush the edges of the sheet with the filling and also between each dollop.
*Prepare a big pot with 1.5 lt of water, bring it to boil and add 1 tbsp of rock salt.

As quickly as possible take the other sheet and cover the base. 

Make sure you press out the air so they don’t burst when you cook them. If you don’t have a Ravioli cutter you can always use a big cookie cutter, or even just a knife to cut them in big squares.
Carefully dip each ravioli into the water and boil for about 5 minutes, sometimes its faster, but that depends on how thick they are.

*Note: If you want to make the ravioli ahead, as you cut them place them on a dusted baking tray, cover and put it in the fridge. 

My butter sauce:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1tbsp Chopped chives
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt & pepper

In a pot melt the butter, add the chives and oregano, season with salt and pepper.
As you “fish” out” the ravioli from the water transfer them to the pot where you have the butter sauce ready, using a silicone spatula gently turn them to coat them evenly.

Once you’ve serve them sprinkle some lemon zest and squeeze some juice drops.

Top with parmesan.

Grill for  2 minutes.

A variation of this recipe may have 4 dollops of cream and 1/2 tbsp butter.

The rest of the ingredients remain the same.

I’ve also used wholemeal flour, just keep in mind that it does require a bit longer to cook.

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