RISE & SHINE KAUT43 OKC
First off let me say, the purpose of this week’s recipe is to teach you how to make ravioli. How to make the ravioli pasta dough, talk about different fillings, and then the final preparation.
Making your pasta dough is a lot easier if you have a stand mixer with accompanying dough hook. If you have a pasta roller attachment with your mixer, then plus-plus! If not a hand crank pasta roller works well too… and the last choice for all you hardcore foodies, rolling the dough out with a rolling pin. The idea, however you choose to roll the ravioli dough, is to make it thin enough that you can see your hand behind the dough sheet. Why? Because we will be doubling up the dough, one layer on top of the other with the feeling in between, and you will want the edges to be thin and not thick and chewy. Make sense?
Now, before you can do all this pasta dough rolling, you have to make a great pasta (egg) dough. The mixture will not be like bread dough or a pastry dough so it will seem tough and dry. Your job is to make sure the dough is “worked” enough, so it develops the necessary gluten structure (the stretch) desired for all kinds of pasta. Unless you are some kitchen prodigy, this technique will take more than once to nail down. Practice until you get the dough and final pasta the way YOU want it to be.
As far as fillings go… this is a creative part on your end. Let your imagination soar with the fillings, and trust me there are tons of ideas out there on the web! Anything from a three cheese ravioli, to a duck and porcini mushroom ravioli, or a mad dash mixture of leftovers from other meals that you would like to use. There is also my Italian sausage, spinach, and cheese ravioli.
Italian Sausage, Spinach, & Cheese Ravioli
For The Pasta Dough:
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 large whole eggs, room temp
2 large egg yolks, room temp
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Egg wash (1 large egg and egg yolk beaten)
You may make your pasta the old fashioned way by creating a well of flour and salt then add the beaten eggs and yolks along with the olive oil… or you can do what I did and make it in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Place the flour and salt in your stand mixer ’s bowl, then give it a good mix with a spoon. Beat the eggs and yolks together with the olive oil. Pour into the center of the flour. Add the dough hook attachment and turn the mixer to medium-low speed. As the flour begins to incorporate with the eggs creating the dough, increase the speed.
Keep in mind if this is the first time you’re making fresh pasta dough that the dough will not be wet and sticky as with bread doughs. It will seem dry and course. Just keep working the dough until it comes together. You may have to turn off the mixer and use your hands to gather the dough together, then restart the kneading with your dough hook.
After it has come together into a ball, let the dough hook knead the dough for a good five minutes longer. I then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it by hand a few times to get a good feel of the dough and to form it into a nice smooth ball.
Wrap the dough in plastic film or cloth and allow it to rest at least 30 minutes, or place in the fridge overnight.
When ready to start rolling your dough (and by rolling I mean with a hand crank pasta roller or with a pasta roller attachment for your stand mixer), divide the pasta dough into four equal pieces. Take one of the parts (cover the rest), flour both sides, and put your pasta roller on the first setting, the widest setting, and roll the piece of dough through. Flour both sides again, fold it in half and run through two more times.
Always keep the dough floured front to back, and work your way through the dough settings so that your ravioli dough is thin enough to see your hand through. On my pasta roller, I start at “1” and end on “6”. Add the thinly rolled out pasta to a sheet pan that has been lightly dusted in flour. Remember to always keep the pasta dough covered to prevent drying out.
Once you have four nicely, thinly, rolled out pasta sheets, it is time to make the ravioli. You may make these the traditional way of spacing out small amounts of filling on a sheet of the rolled pasta, egg washing the edges, then topping with a second sheet of pasta, finally cutting into ravioli. I do it a faster and more uniform way using a ravioli mold. If you purchase a ravioli mold follow the manufacturer’s directions.
For The Italian Sausage, Spinach, and Cheese Filling: Makes up to three dozen small ravioli
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1/2 cup small diced yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
6 cups packed fresh baby spinach
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a fry pan add a tablespoon of olive oil and begin to heat. Add the diced onion and garlic. Season with a small pinch of Cook’s Line Seasoning or Kosher salt and black pepper. Keep in mind a lot of the ingredients we are adding contain salt, so go easy on the initial seasoning. Cook until tender.
In the same pan add crumbled up Italian sausage. Cook until the meat has browned. Drain off any excess grease, but keeping the mixture in the pan.
Season the meat with the ground nutmeg and red pepper flakes. Add the packaged baby spinach a few cups at a time and cook/wilt into the meat mixture. Once all the spinach is in and cooked, remove from the eat of our out into a large mixing bowl to cool.
When the meat and spinach mixture has cooled, add the ricotta and parmesan cheese. Mix in well. Cover and refrigerate if not making ravioli right away.
When ready to make the ravioli Use one ounce or small spoon scoops of the mixture. When using the ravioli mold spoon the mixture into the ravioli well gently pressing down to ensure there are no air bubbles. If making the traditional way using the same amount of filling making sure to keep the filling right in the center and not smeared along the potential edges. This will prevent sealing causing the ravioli to unravel and the filling cooking out into the water.
Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. In batches to not overcrowd the pan add your ravioli. They will cook in 5-7 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the dough. Check one to be sure it’s cooked al dente, or to the “almost ready/that’s ready” stage.
In a large high sided braising pan or pot begin gently heating your tomato sauce. Spoon out the cooked ravioli with a slotted spoon or hand strainer. Shake off excess water and add the ravioli to the heated tomato sauce. Gently fold in careful not to break the ravioli. Cook and add all the ravioli.
When ready to serve, spoon out onto individual plates or into one large serving dish. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs and or shaved parmesan cheese.