Today’s project – make ravioli for the 1st time
Sunday’s have turned into my regular cooking day and today I am experimenting with ravioli. I have been wanting to make ravioli for ages, it’s even on my ‘to-do list’. I thought about making soup today as my supply is running low, but I think this will be more fun.
Yesterday I pulled out our big Italian cookbook, La Cucina, and found 2 recipes that looked tasty and simple to make. I was bound to find something suitable in the cookbook amongst the 2,000 authentic recipes. I landed on a meat stuffed pasta from the Anguilottos region and ricotta ravioli from the Basilicata region. The plan is to make some for dinner and to freeze the rest for later.
Ravioli is a 2-part process – first I need to make pasta dough and then the filling. I have made homemade pasta before; however my last attempt was a disappointment – too moist. Instead of using the kitchen aid mixer I am going to make the dough the old fashioned way so that I have more control over it. When I use the mixer I tend to get distracted and I don’t watch it as closely as I should.
I am now 1/2 way into making my first batch of ravioli (meat). And I have made 4 important decisions.
1. I HATE pasta rollers. They seem like they will be a huge help but inevitably only cause grief. I am sticking to my rolling pin from now on. I prefer rustic noodles anyway… that is code for unevenly cut.I like rustic style noodles (fancy term for unevenly cut).
2. I don’t think I will ever make ravioli again. Between the dough and the finicky cutting I’m exhausted and I’m only half finished the first batch. I just had to make a 2nd batch of dough because the first one dried out too much before I was finished.
3. I will only make one type of ravioli tonight – I just don’t have the energy to make the ricotta ravioli. I will have to find a recipe this week that calls for ricotta and flat leaf parsley.
4. Small ravioli are for chumps. With the second batch of dough, I switched to large ravioli, or as I prefer to call them, meal sized ravioli. 2-4 ravioli per person and everyone will b happy.
Making large ravioli has given me hope that I might want to do this again one day. It was so much faster and I actually think they will be quite tasty and pretty on a plate. There was also a lot less pasta dough wasted as I didn’t feel the need to make even shapes.
Tonight I will make a few of the large ravioli as a taste test. I think a simple tomato sauce will be best.
TIP: In the end, I froze the small ravioli. They will make a quick and tasty dinner one night when I don’t feel like cooking. The trick to freezing ravioli is to freeze them lying on a flat surface for about an hour and then stick them in a freezer bag. This will prevent the ravioli from sticking to each other and will make it easier to cook them at a later date. I used a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and covered the ravioli with more parchment paper and a tea towel.