How to Make Ravioli

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3-10-2019, 16:00
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Updated: October 3, 2019 If you love the taste of handmade ravioli but hate the high cost, make ravioli at home. Mix a simple egg dough that rests while you make a filling. Try a classic cheese filling, a hearty sausage filling, or a flavorful mushroom filling. Let the filling cool while you roll out the dough by hand or with a pasta machine. Then spoon the filling on the dough by hand or use a ravioli mold. Trim or remove the assembled ravioli and boil them for a few minutes in salty water.

Making the Ravioli Dough

  1. Mix the flour with the salt. Measure 3 cups (375 g) of all-purpose flour into the bowl of a stand mixer and add 1 teaspoon (5.5 g) of salt. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and turn the mixer on to low so the flour and salt are combined.
    • If you prefer to make the dough by hand, put the flour directly on your work surface and use your fingers to mix in the salt.
  2. Beat in 4 eggs 1 at a time. Keep the mixer running on low and add 1 egg. Once the egg is incorporated into the flour, add another egg. Continue to beat the eggs 1 at a time until all 4 eggs are mixed in. The mixture should start to form a ball.
    • If you're mixing by hand, make a well in the center of the flour. Crack all 4 eggs into it and use a fork to whisk the eggs and flour together.
  3. Mix in 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil on low speed. Keep the mixer running and slowly pour in the oil. Once the oil is combined, the dough will become a shaggy ball that's not completely smooth.
    • To mix in the oil by hand, drizzle the oil over the dough and mix it in with your hands.
  4. Knead the ravioli dough for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle a little flour on your work surface and transfer the dough to it. Use the palms of your hands to knead the dough. Work the dough until it becomes smooth and stretchy.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and rest it for 30 minutes. Tear off a piece of plastic wrap and use it to completely wrap the ravioli dough. Leave the dough to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
    • Resting the dough will relax the gluten so the pasta doesn't become tough.

Mixing a Filling

  1. Mix ricotta with Parmesan for a cheesy filling. Put 1 pound (450 g) of ricotta into a bowl along with 1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, the zest of 1/2 a lemon, 1 cup (100 g) of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, 1 large egg, and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
    • Stir the mixture until the ingredients are completely combined.
  2. Brown sausage to make a meaty filling. Cook 4 ounces (110 g) of Italian sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat until it's completely brown. Stir in 3/4 cup (22.5 g) of fresh spinach until it wilts. Then drain any grease in the pan. Mix 1 egg yolk with 1/3 cup (81 g) of ricotta cheese 1 teaspoon (0.5 g) of fresh sage or 1/4 teaspoon (0.2 g) of dried sage and 1/8 teaspoon (0.3 g) of nutmeg in another bowl. Stir it into the meat until it's combined.
    • If you're concerned that the meat is too coarse to fill the ravioli, transfer the browned sausage to a food processor. Pulse the meat until it's fine and then stir in the ricotta mixture.
  3. Sauté mushrooms for a vegetarian filling. Soak 1/2 ounce (14 g) of dried porcini mushrooms in boiling water for 15 minutes and drain them. Sauté 1 1/2 cups (110 g) of fresh mushrooms in 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Then chop and stir in the reconstituted porcini mushrooms, 1 tablespoon (4 g) of parsley, and 1 clove of minced garlic. Turn off the burner and stir in:
    • 1/4 teaspoon (2.75 g) of salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon (0.2 g) of ground black pepper
    • 1 lightly beaten egg yolk
    • 1/2 cup (123 g) of ricotta cheese

Rolling and Assembling the Ravioli by Hand

  1. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and put 1 on your work surface. Wrap the remaining 5 pieces in plastic wrap and refrigerate them while you're rolling 1 piece of dough. Lightly sprinkle your work surface with flour and place the piece of dough in it.
    • Working with 1 piece of dough at a time will prevent the dough from drying out.
  2. Dust the dough with flour and roll the dough into a rectangle. Sprinkle a little flour over the piece of dough to prevent it from sticking to the rolling pin. Roll away from the center of the dough towards the edges. Keep rolling and turning the dough until you've made a rectangle and the dough is 1/8-in (3 mm) thick.
    • Sprinkle more flour if the dough starts to stick.
    • The rectangle can be any length, but needs to be 4 in (10 cm) wide.
    • If you've accidentally rolled the dough too thin, gather it into a ball and re-roll it.
  3. Make an egg wash and brush it over the dough. Put 1 egg yolk into a small bowl and add 1 teaspoon (4.9 ml) of water. Use a fork to beat the mixture. Then dip a pastry brush in the egg wash and brush the entire surface of the dough with the wash.
    • Keep in mind that you won't use all of the egg wash for this 1 piece of dough.
    • The egg wash will help the pasta bind together and will help the filling stick to the dough.
  4. Spoon 1 tablespoon (15 g) of filling 2 in (5 cm) apart on the dough. Spoon or pipe your choice of filling lengthwise on the rectangle of dough. Leave 2 in (5 cm) of space between each spoonful of filling so you have room to form and cut individual ravioli. Work along 1 edge of the rectangle.
    • Use cooled filling so it doesn't begin to heat the dough.
  5. Fold the dough over lengthwise to cover the filling. Bring the unfilled side of the rectangle over and onto the side with the filling. The rectangle should be as long as you made it, but now it will be about 2 in (5 cm) wide.
  6. Press the air from the ravioli and cut them out. Use your index and middle finger to gently press down around each mound of filling. This will push out air and seal the pasta dough. Then use a knife, pasta crimper, cookie cutter, or overturned glass to cut out each ravioli.
    • If you're using a knife, cut the ravioli in any shape you like. For example, make squares, circles, or triangles.
  7. Roll out and assemble the remaining dough with filling. Set aside the assembled ravioli and dust them with a little cornmeal to keep them from sticking together. Then get out another piece of dough and put it on your floured work surface. Continue to roll, fill, and cut all of the reserved dough.
    • Check each ravioli to ensure that all of the edges are sealed. This will prevent filling from escaping as the ravioli boil.
    • Cover the assembled ravioli with a towel to prevent them from drying out while you make the rest of the ravioli.

Using Equipment to Roll and Assemble the Ravioli

  1. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and put 1 on your work surface. Wrap the remaining 3 pieces in plastic wrap and refrigerate them while you're rolling 1 piece of dough through the pasta machine.
    • Working with only 1 piece of dough at a time will prevent the dough from drying out.
  2. Press the dough into a rectangle and run it through the machine. Make the rectangle as wide as your pasta machine rollers are. Then adjust your machine so it's at its widest setting. Guide and roll the dough through the machine.
    • Use the palm of your hand to help the pasta roll out of the machine.
  3. Roll the dough through the machine until it's 1/8-in (3 mm) thick. Continue to guide the dough into the machine's rollers and pass the dough through until it's thin enough to see your palm through.
    • You'll probably have to roll the dough through your machine 2 to 3 times.
  4. Lay a sheet of rolled dough over the metal ravioli maker. Place the metal base of your ravioli maker on your work surface. Drape the rolled sheet of pasta dough over the base.
    • You shouldn't be able to see the metal base once you've placed the pasta over it.
    • Some ravioli makers are round, square, or rectangular.
  5. Press the plastic mold down into the dough. If your pasta maker came with a plastic piece that's the size of the mold, place it directly on the sheet of pasta. Push down gently so the dough is pressed down a little. If your machine doesn't have the mold, use your thumb to make a slight indention on each ravioli spot.
    • The depressions in the dough will make it easier to fill the ravioli.
    • If you push too hard and the dough tears, gather the dough into a ball and run it through the pasta machine again.
  6. Spoon 1 tablespoon (15 g) of filling in each indentation and tap the mold. Spoon or pipe your choice of cooled filling in each of the depressions. Ensure that you don't spread the filling outside of the indentation or the filling will leak as the ravioli cook. Gently tap the mold down on the work surface.
    • Tapping the mold will release air bubbles that are trapped.
  7. Lay rolled pasta dough over the mold and press down gently. Use another sheet of pasta dough and place it over the dough with the filling. Press down gently with the palm of your hand to remove air that's trapped between the sheets of dough.
    • Run a rolling pin over the dough so the filled ravioli are cut from the mold.
  8. Turn the mold over to release the formed ravioli. Flip the mold over so the ravioli fall away from the mold. If some stick to the mold, use your fingers to peel them off. You can also try tapping the mold.
    • Dust the assembled ravioli with a little cornmeal and cover them with a towel. Covering them will prevent the ravioli from drying out while you make the rest of the ravioli.

Cooking the Ravioli

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Pour 4 quarts (3.8 l) of cold water into a 5 to 6-quart (4.7 to 5.6-liter) pot. Put the lid on the pot and turn the burner to high heat.
    • The water should come to a vigorous bubble.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon (16 g) of salt to the water along with the ravioli. Stir the salt so it dissolves and lower the ravioli into the boiling water.
    • Avoid dumping the ravioli into the boiling water because it will splash out of the pot.
  3. Boil the ravioli for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the ravioli once or twice as they boil. They will float to the top of the pot once they've finished cooking.
    • If you overcook the ravioli, they'll start to open up or disintegrate in the water.
  4. Remove and serve the cooked ravioli. Turn off the burner and use a slotted spoon to scoop the ravioli out of the pot. Transfer the ravioli to a skillet with your favorite warm sauce or place them on individual serving plates. Drizzle the ravioli with chipped herbs and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.
    • Refrigerate leftover ravioli in an airtight container for up to 3 to 5 days.

Ravioli Filling and Sauce Suggestions

Ingredients

Dough

  • 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5.5 g) salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 egg yolk plus 1 teaspoon (4.9 ml) water, for the egg wash
  • 1 tablespoon (16. g) salt for boiling
Makes enough dough for 2 dozen ravioli

Cheese Filling

  • 1 pound (450 g) ricotta
  • 1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 cup (100 g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Makes 1 1/2 pounds (555 g) of filling

Italian Sausage Filling

  • 4 ounces (110 g) bulk Italian sausage
  • 3/4 cup (22.5 g) packed fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup (81 g) ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon (0.5 g) snipped fresh sage or 1/4 teaspoon (0.2 g) dried sage, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.3 g) ground nutmeg
Makes 6 ounces (170 g) of filling

Mushroom Filling

  • 1/2 ounce (14 g) dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups (110 g) fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (4 g) snipped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon (2.75 g) salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.2 g) ground black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup (123 g) ricotta cheese
Makes 1 cup (250 g) of filling

Tips

  • If you're going to freeze unused ravioli, place them about a 1/2 inch apart on a sheet, dust with flour to prevent sticking, and then freeze. Once frozen, you can transfer the raviolis into a smaller container. Put the frozen ravioli in an airtight container and freeze it for up to 1 month.
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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Stand mixer with dough hook
  • Plastic wrap
  • Mixing bowls
  • Skillet
  • Spoon
  • Knife and cutting board
  • 5 to 6-quart (4.7 to 5.6-liter) pot with lid
  • Slotted spoon
  • Rolling pin
  • Small bowl
  • Fork
  • Pasta machine
  • Knife, cookie cutter, pasta crimper, or glass
  • Pastry brush
  • Ravioli mold
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