It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these, ahah. I have a few other recipe posts planned, but I work as a waiter and thus am not cooking as much as I’d like.
However, a few nights ago I was invited to a friend’s house who was making salmon fillets for a group of our friends. I had bought some ricotta cheese a few days earlier that I used as a dessert with a bit of honey, walnuts and apple slices. It’s a nice, light and healthy way to get some additional vitamins and minerals after a meal. (There are numerous sites on the web that give you a breakdown of a food’s nutrient content. For those interested in learning more I suggest you look at this site: http://nutritiondata.self.com/ )
And so, needing to use the cheese while it was still fresh, I decided I would make some homemade pasta. I had never done ravioli before but had made pasta a few times over the last few years. When my wife and I got married, we received a pasta machine that facilitates the shaping of the dough. I don’t think that it is necessary to have one, although it certainly makes it easier. I also have a rolling pin, that I’ve used to prep the pasta for the machine, and I was lucky enough to find a huge sq. meter wooden cutting board last year that I use for making doughs and pastas.
I looked up a basic recipe online and roughly followed it. Pasta isn’t like pastry cooking, it’s not a science. I used 2/3 type 00 flower that is a finely processed flower made for pasta, and I used 1/3 seminola flower in order to make the pasta a bit denser.
My proportions were as follows(rougly): 1/2 kilo of type 00 flower. 1/4 kilo of seminola flower. 5 whole eggs, and 2 egg yolks. Use the net for different measurement systems, i.e, cup sizes and so on…
I needed the dough added a bit of salt, a few tbls of extra virgin olive oil and continued to work the pasta until its texture looked even. There’s a trick people use to kneed pasta. You make a volcano shape with your flower mix, and add the eggs to the center and you slowly mix in the flower with the eggs in the center making sure to avoid flower clumps.
My ricotta mix was simple. I quickly blanched some spinach, mixed it in with my ricotta, some sun-dried tomatoes, some freshly grated Parmesan, a bit of salt and pepper, as well as a touch of olive oil.
I cut my pasta strips into squares, and placed a dollop of the ricotta mix in its center. I then used the egg white left over from the 2 eggs I used for their yolks when making the pasta, and lightly “painted” the pasta edges with my finger in order for the other layer to properly stick and i started sandwiching the ricotta mix between 2 pasta squares that I carefully closed making sure no air got stuck inside.
I placed them in a tupperware and put them in the fridge. You can keep them this way for a day or 2. One other thing I’d like to mention: I made way too much dough. I think half of what I made would have been enough. With the rest of the pasta that I didn’t stuff, I kept it in a ball that I covered in olive oil and also tupperwared it in order to make more during the week. Last night I made some pappardelle with asparagus, parsley, parmesan, lemon juice and olives. Simple and delicious. The pasta came out great.
Hope this helps some of you. The ricotta mix can be used for lasagna, stuffing a meat roast, a vegetable, and more. It makes a great dip also.