12.24.2004

Raviolis, et. al.

They need names.

Our Christmas eve feast will include ravioli with tomato sauce, breaded/fried smelts, cod (breaded/baked), assorted veggies, etc. Yesterday, I made the dough and stuffed it with a mixture of cheeses and spices to make our ravioli. For the first time ever, I used the food processor for the dough and it worked miraculously. A typical batch of dough was:



Pasta Dough (soon to be replaced by measures in mass, not volume)
unbleached white flour, 1 3/4 C
eggs, two
olive oil, 1.5 T
water, 1.5 T plus enough to make it "ball up" in the processor.
salt, 1/4 t

I didn't weigh the ingredients, but should have since eggs will always vary and moisture content is key to ease of rollability for pasta dough. Each batch of this dough was rolled to a huge, very thin sheet of pasta by hand. It was not sticky; almost a texture of kids' fruit leather. I used a mold to make about a dozen ravs at a time. Worked pretty well, a bit tedious, but worth it. Well, off to prepare more food (Trish has taken over cinnabon-style rolls - hers are better!), play with the kid and listen to Andy Williams tunes. Merry Christmas all.

I'll be pulling this entry back up and updating it sometime in the future with weights of ingredients.

ps: The image is of the little guys undergoing a flash freeze stage on our back stairs. It's been chili here in Columbus.

pps: Boy were these good. Not one burst on boiling. The pasta could probably have been rolled a tad thinner (to give them an apparently greater tenderness) but not many complaints. Of course it was just Trish and Frankie.

6 comments:

Meg said...

Merry Christmas, Dave! I haven't made ravioli in about three years, but these look so good I am inspired to give it another go. What spices did you add to the cheese filling?

dave said...

Hi Meg,
They're so easy, I don't know why I take so long to make them myself more often. The food processor made such a nice dough. I used to kneed by hand and let rollers do the remaining kneading with subsequent passes. Now, I don't like using a rolling machine and handrolling (like my mother and grandmother).

Anyway, the filling: About a pound of cottage cheese (I usually use ricotta but bad weather and such ...), egg, pinch of nutmeg, parsley, salt and pepper and about 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese. Very minimal. Ravs are, for us, more about the pasta than the filling.

Enjoy, they're fun once you get a rhythm.

Mark said...

Hi Dave,

Those look pretty darn uniform. What did you use to form and seal them?

dave said...

Hi Mark,

I used a one piece "mold". It's an aluminum bottom piece that looks kind of like the bottom half of an egg carton; twelve depressions with ridgies surrounding the depressions. When I roll out the huge piece of dough, I cut the piece into rectangles and it takes two rectangles per batch of 12. One piece of dough gets floured and placed on the mold, then a tiny bit of filling goes in each of the depressions. Then I wet down the pasta between each of the bits of filling and gently roll over a second piece of pasta. Finally, I roll over the whole mold with a rolling pin and the raised ridgies cut off the individual raviolis when the rolling pin goes over it. Lots of work per 12, but, 12 is actually a pretty nice serving size. So, after several hours of work, you have a few meals. The mold is pretty common in Italian markets (and cheap).

My Mom would never use this kind of contraption, she's a bit more of a purist. But it's a nice crutch. This thing crimps 'em so nicely, they never burst on cooking.

Mark said...

Do you mean like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00024WPHA

I usually just cut squares and then fold them in half on the diagonal. Yours look a lot nicer, and it sounds easier. Maybe I'll have to get one.

dave said...

That's exactly it.

Mine was cheaper, I forget where I bought it though. Thanks for pointing it out!

Columbus, OH has TONS of restaurant supply houses that also sell to home cooks. I may have bought it at one of them.