Making ravioli can be tedious and time consuming...if you let it. Since I like to have a freezer full of little stuffed pastas for easy and delicious meals even the kids can make, I choose to look forward to making them. I mean, I purposely find it enjoyable. I'm not going to kid you - while it's not difficult at all, it is a bit time intensive; the dough takes time, the filling takes time, then putting it all together takes time. It can easily take up to three hours if you choose to do everything all at once. But here's the thing - you can choose to enjoy the cooking time with your family, or you can plug your ears with a good audio book or album while you prepare several meals of ravioli. You can also make it a fun social gathering by inviting some friends over for a ravioli making party; each person brings [a bottle of wine and] enough ingredients to make different fillings to share with everyone.
You can split the time by making the filling and dough when you have time and just pop it in the fridge until you are ready to assemble everything. Regardless of how you choose to enjoy your time making the ravioli, you will end up with several delicious homemade meals (even more if you choose the friend option) for what essentially comes down to not a lot of work (just a fair bit of time). To keep it simple to follow, I've broken the recipe down into three parts: the dough, the filling, the meal.
The dough for the ravioli is prepared exactly the same as any pasta dough; you can see the photos for the preparation method in my post for Lemon Fettuccine.
- 2 c unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 c whole wheat flour
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 4 eggs
- 2-4 Tbs water, as needed
Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough blade. Pulse to mix. With the machine running on dough speed, pour the olive oil down the chute. Drop the eggs down the chute one at a time. Add water, 1 Tbs at a time, until the dough catches and forms a ball. Turn the machine off, remove the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times until the dough is smooth. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to 8 hours).
Meanwhile, make the mushroom filling.
- 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms plus 1 cup boiling water
- 3 Tbs butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 c onion, finely diced
- 1 1/4 lb assorted mushrooms (portobello, cremini, shitake, oyster, button, etc...), stems removed, wiped clean and chopped
- 1/3 c dry red wine
- 1/4 c water from porcini mushrooms (above)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 c fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 Tbs heavy cream
Reserve 1/4 cup of the porcini water. Finely chop and add them to the rest of the mushrooms.
Melt the butter in a 12" skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions and garlic. Saute until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant.
Add the mushrooms. Cook for about 6-8 minutes, or until tender and volume has reduced by about half, stirring often.
Pour the wine and porcini water over the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook another 5-6 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally.
Mix in the Parmesan, parsley, and cream. Cook for 1 minute more.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the ravioli.
makes about 60 ravioli
- 1 recipe ravioli dough (see above)
- 1 recipe mushroom filling (see above)
- flour for dusting
- Sundried Tomato Alfredo Sauce (optional)
Line 2-3 baking sheets with waxed paper. Set aside.
Lightly dust working surface with flour.
To roll out the dough, tear off 1/4 of the dough (cover the rest with the plastic wrap or towel). Press the dough into a rectangle with your fingers. Run it through the widest setting of your pasta machine (on mine it is #7) about three times, folding it into thirds each time. If it's misshapen, don't sweat it - you'll fix it shortly. Turn the setting one notch thinner, fold the dough into thirds, and feed it through again.
The dough should be about 14" long. Cut it in half.
Fold each half into thirds one more time and feed through. Continue lowering the setting each successive time (no more need to fold, just feed) until dough is thin enough (about 1/32, or until you can see a nice shadow when you hold your hand behind the strip of dough). *If dough gets sticky while working with it, dust it lightly with flour before running it back through the pasta machine.
Place the dough strips on a lightly floured surface.
Trim the wonky edges, and cut each strip of dough with a sharp knife or pizza cutter lengthwise, leaving one half slightly larger than the other (you will fill the thinner strip, and cover with the wider, so we are allowing the extra room to cover the filling).
Starting about 3/4" in from the edges, mound about 1 heaping teaspoon (the measuring kind, not the the soup kind) of filling on the thinner dough strip. Continue down the length of the strip, leaving about 1 inch between mounds.
With a pastry brush dipped in water, carefully wet the edges. Don't be too messy with it because if the water leaks off the sides, it will make the dough stick to the counter and it will be hard to pick it up (or scrape off).
Carefully lift the larger dough strip over the filling. Seal by pressing down around each mound, taking care to press any air out before finally sealing each mound. Brush any excess flour from the dough with a dry pastry brush.
Using either a knife, pizza cutter, or fancy ravioli cutter, cut each of the mounds into squares. If you'd like, use a fork to decorate the edges (just take care not to puncture the pasta with the tines).
If you do puncture or tear the pasta, you can try to fix it by twisting the dough to seal calzone-style.
Place the ravioli in a single layer on baking sheets lined with waxed paper. Continue these steps with the rest of the pasta dough.
To freeze, place the filled baking sheet in the freezer for a few hours. When the ravioli is frozen, remove the pastas to a freezer bag or other freezer safe container.
To boil (fresh or frozen), bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully add the ravioli and gently boil 3-6 minutes for fresh, 5-8 minutes for frozen, or until the pasta is tender and they all float to the top.
Drain and serve with your favorite sauce. Try it with Sundried Tomato Alfredo Sauce...so good!
May is #pastalove month!
Please join in on the #pastalove fun by linking up any pasta recipe from the month of May 2012. Don't forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #pastalove event! The twitter hashtag is #pastalove :).
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