When I hear about Those People (you know the ones...) who have the time and energy to make their own ravioli from scratch, I think (with a twinge of envy, I must admit) they should probably take up a hobby. Who but who would inflict torture like that on themselves-oh, the difficulty and the time!!
Ok. I get it now. And I'm a convert. It's completely and utterly worth every precious second of time to make your own ravioli. Frankly, I don't think I'll ever be the same again. I mean, how can I go back to store bought, machine manufactured ravioli after tasting this homemade food of the gods?!
And just for the record, it's not that hard-actually not too complicated at all, just requires a little planning. I would rate it somewhere around meatloaf or homemade pizza, difficulty-wise.
In Argentina, making your own pasta is done pretty regularly in many households. With so many people of Italian descent, it's not surprising. The tools necessary are sold at the grocery store, not at a specialty shop. (Like the wooden ravioli dowel you see pictured below--it came from a Vea supermarket in Mendoza.) Homemade ravioli and pasta of all types are on every restaurant menu. And in Bowen, the little hardware store that sells washing machines and new bedroom sets also sells hand-cranking pasta makers.
I thought to myself "I have to try it, even if I never do it again. It's Argentinean." I told myself. "It's for the blog!" Oh, the motivation--I really had to talk myself into it! A few hours later, Guillermo and I sat, stuffed. Not a ravioli remained, no leftovers for the next day's lunch, our plates were wiped clean. And Guillermo said "That...was probably the best ravioli I have ever tasted."
There's some truth in that old adage "The way to a man's heart is through his belly". And really, the way to my heart, too! Is that enough of an endorsement to get you to try it?
Below the recipe are step-by-step pictures showing the assembly process after rolling out the ravioli dough. The sauce I used was this tomato sauce. Enjoy!
Receta Para Raviolis Caseros
Recipe For Homemade Ravioli
Makes 2 batches of about 2 dozen ravioli each.
Three Cheese Filling:
1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
1 cup good quality ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt (or more or less to taste)
freshly ground pepper (to taste)
3-4 Tablespoons dried parsley
Add cheeses and egg together in a medium mixing bowl. Stir together. Add in remaining ingredients. Mix until well incorporated.
The Dough: (From Saveur Magazine)
3 cups flour, plus more as needed
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons water
Mound the flour on a work surface and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Make a wide, deep well in the center of the flour, leaving some flour at the well's bottom. Pour oil into well, and crack the eggs into it. Use a fork to gently mix the eggs and oil together, then gradually incorporate surrounding flour a little at a time into the well. As egg mixture absorbs flour, slowly add 10 Tablespoons water until the dough becomes wet and sticky. Generously sprinkle the dough and work surface with additional flour. Knead the dough, adding flour as necesasary to prevent sticking, until it's elastic and smooth, about 10 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside to let rest for one hour.
Divide the dough in half. Working with 1 dough half at a time (keep the other half on the counter covered with a towel), roll it with a rolling pin, stetching it occasionally with your hands, into an 18-inch wide circle about 1/6 th of an inch thick on a well-floured work surface, rotating it occasionally.
To assemble the ravioli, spread half the filling (not so much that it will squish out, but not too little, either)evenly over one side of the dough, leaving a half an inch border. Brush the border with water. (PHOTO 1)
Fold the dough over filling to form a half moon. Press edges to seal. Generously dust dough with flour. (PHOTO 2)
Roll a checkered ravioli pin firmly over dough, imprinting it with a pattern of squares, or use a hand-stamp ravioli cutter. (PHOTO 3)
Using a fluted ravioli cutter (ok, I used a pastry cutter) cut the ravioli along the indentations. (PHOTO 4)
Separate the ravioli and let them air dry for one hour. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. (PHOTO 5)
At this point, they can be laid out on a wax-paper lined baking sheet and frozen, or plopped into a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat and cooked 8-10 minutes, until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl and serve with the sauce of your choice.
Ravioli rollers can be bought online at www.bakedeco.com (and probably elsewhere, too) or at finer kitchen/cooking stores.