Life is full now that I’m in the fresh pasta game. I started extra simple with spaghetti cacio e pepe. This time, I wanted to test myself. It was ravioli time. I didn’t want to go too crazy by doing a meat filling – that would be one extra step I didn’t feel like taking on a Monday, but I did go beyond plain cheese.
The process for the pasta is the same: mix 2 c. flour, 3 eggs, 1 tbsp olive oil, and 1 tsp salt by hand to make a “shaggy dough”. Then mix for 10 minutes on low speed with the dough hook and let sit for 30 minutes. I cracked a good bit of lemon pepper into my dough as well to test out a flavored pasta. While The dough is resting for 30 minutes, make your filling. I defrosted frozen spinach in the microwave (1 box) then wrung it out and chopped it up a bit more. I mixed with one package of sliced cremini mushrooms that I sautéd with garlic and [dried] thyme. I also chopped the mushrooms up as finely as I could after sautéing them. Fold in 1/2 lb of fresh ricotta and a solid handful of fresh grated parmesan. Add some salt. That’s your filling. When it comes time to serve, use whatever sauce you want. A creamy parmesan sauce would be good, as would garlic butter. I went with a pink sauce by warming jarred marinara with some half and half and some crushed red pepper flakes. Topped with more parmesan, of course.
I have to say, I tasted the filling just to make sure the seasoning was good and I would have eaten this with a spoon. It makes me think it would make some really good stuffed shells with a cream sauce. Or as a layer of lasagna with shredded chicken. Basically, keep this filling combo in the back of your mind for future dishes. In fact, save some. I got 36 ravioli out of one dough recipe, which meant I had at least 1/3 of the filling leftover. It’s now sitting in the freezer, ready for a rainy day.
The pasta making/resting, prep of the filling, and clean-up takes 45 minutes total. All can be done a day ahead if you’d like. Now it’s time to make the ravioli. I admit, this is the more time consuming part. Run your dough through the roller attachment. I used the 4 setting but it could maybe go even thinner, to a 5. You’ll wind up with four big noodles. Place 1 tsp of filling as dots in rows on one of the noodles. Cover with the other noodle and press down between the dots. Cut out your squares of ravioli. They make ravioli cutters but I was happy to just use a knife. It takes some time to pinch those edges but I’m glad I didn’t rush things because none of my ravioli burst while cooking. It’s not difficult – at all – but it does take longer than regular fresh-made pasta.
Place in boiling water for about three minutes, or until they float to the top. Top with sauce.
I was very happy with how these turned out. I already knew I could make noods, but I’m glad I can now add stuffed pasta maker to my resume. Also, figuring out this filling combo is something I’ll definitely keep in my back pocket…and recommend you do the same.