Homemade Raviolis

One of John and I’s favorite things to do together in the kitchen is make ravioli – the first time was a disaster! He was rolling out the pasta faster than I could fill them, so we ended up with dry pasta and lots of filling, and we had to start all over again. Now we are pros, cranking out about 50 raviolis in 1 hour! : ) What I love about making pasta is that you don’t have to use it immediately, you can freeze it following instructions below!

The best way to make the raviolis is to make the filling first, so that they can cool while the dough rests. Also you don’t have to make both fillings below, just double up the one you prefer, but I can guarantee they are both amazing with homemade tomato sauce, or tossed in brown butter with a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Roasted Tomatoes and Cheese Filling
20 small cherry or grape tomatoes, score an X on tomato base
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
7 oz drained ricotta
6 oz freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl combine scored tomatoes, olive oil, thyme and garlic. Mix well, and spread onto baking sheet – bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile combine the rest of the ingredients and set aside, remove tomatoes from the oven.

To assemble the raviolis: For a 2 ½ inch round or square cutter, I recommend using 1 tablespoon. Lay one sheet out, make mounds with about 1-inch apart from other mound, then lay a roasted cherry tomato on top of each mound. Lay another sheet on top, and gently press down the sheet in between the mounds. Using the cutter press down around each mound then pull away excess dough to re-use later.

If you are not preparing immediately (according to instructions below) then place raviolis on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat and freeze for 1 hour. Then separate into Ziploc bags.

Porkopolis Filling
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ lb ground pork
½ onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 ounces mortadella, finely chopped
1 once prosciutto, finely chopped
1 large egg

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter in olive oil over medium heat. Add ground pork, onions and garlic. Cook until the meat is done and the onions are tender. Place the meat mixture into a food processor and pulse until the meat is finely chopped. Combine the meat filling, with the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

To assemble the raviolis: For a 2 ½ inch round or square cutter, I recommend using 1 tablespoon. Lay one sheet out, make mounds with about 1-inch apart from other mound. Lay another sheet on top, and gently press down the sheet in between the mounds. Using the cutter press down around each mound then pull away excess dough to re-use later.

John’s Basic Pasta Dough makes 1 ½ lbs dough
3 cups all-purpose flour
8 large egg yolks + (maybe 1 egg)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons water

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, egg yolks, salt, olive oil, and water. Turn on the machine, and mix until it comes together. Feel the dough and if it’s too dry, add 1 egg, mix until combined – you want the dough to be a moist ball – if it’s too moist add a tablespoon at a time of flour. Unfortunately the weather will have an effect on how the dough turns out, so sometimes it’s trial and error.

Remove the dough from mixer, form a ball and loosely wrap in plastic wrap. Rest at room temperature for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Using a hand-cranked pasta machine follow the instructions to make thin sheets. If you are working alone you will have to make sheets on a need to use basis, otherwise the sheets will dry out.

To assemble raviolis:
Depending on the size of the shapes you are using to cut the pasta, the amount of filling will vary. For a 2 ½ inch round or square cutter, I recommend using 1 tablespoon. Lay one sheet out, make mounds with about 1-inch apart from other mound. Lay another sheet on top, and gently press down the sheet in between the mounds. Using the cutter press down around each mound – then pull away excess dough to reuse later.

To serve: Over high heat bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the raviolis you would like to cook, boil for 2-3 minutes, or until al dente. Strain and serve with favorite sauce.

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Happy Cooking!

Also I wanted to mention that this is a great way to get friends together for an interesting night. Having a pasta party is easy and fun! Just ask friends to bring at least one filling to share, and you can prepare the dough before they arrive along with a cheese filling enough for everyone. Each person can take turns to roll out the dough…while drinking plenty of wine – spend the day making raviolis that will last months!

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