Monday, January 11, 2010

Ravioli Day

I made homemade ravioli last week. Years ago, when I was a young bride, I learned how to make homemade ravioli. At the time, my mother-in-law had a formica topped kitchen table and she just threw the flour onto the cleanly washed table. She added water and eggs and mixed everything by hand. She didn't measure anything. She could tell by feel if the dough was right. Then she'd roll out the dough with an handmade rolling pin. I don't make them very often. As I got older, I tried using various things to make the job easier and they just don't work for me. This time, I tried using the ravioli attachment that I got for my much loved KitchenAid mixer. Did it work? Not so much. They didn't "fill" very well for me. Even if they had filled, they were way too tiny.


I ended up doing it "the old way" like my ex-mother-in-law taught me. She just spooned the filling onto the bottom sheet of dough, covered the filling with a top sheet of dough, cut out the ravioli "freehand", and crimped the ravioli edges with a fork. They don't look uniform or attractive but they taste just fine.


Once they were filled and crimped, she'd throw them into a pot of boiling water to cook until done.


I was simmering my sauce while I was making the ravioli.


Add a little sauce. Voila!


For those of you who feel you want to attempt this, this is the recipe for homemade Spinach & Sausage Ravioli.

Ravioli

INGREDIENTS
1 Large can of spinach - drained
2-1/2 sleeves of cracker crumbs (I use Townhouse and smash them)
1 pound Sweet Sausage (if you use links, remove the casings)
5 pound bag of flour
12 eggs (you may not need that many but its best to have them)

FILLING
Put the spinach in a colander and drain it. If it is very wet, you need to wring it out a little until it’s not so wet.

In a LARGE bowl, put sausage, crumbs, 1 egg, and drained spinach. With your hands, work the ingredients together until they are thoroughly mixed. If it feels too dry, add another egg. (It will almost feel like meatball consistency) Put it aside.

RAVIOLI DOUGH
2 pounds flour
4 eggs
1 Cup WARM water

Make a well with 3/4 of the flour; add eggs to the well and mix together slowly, adding water as necessary. Knead about 10 minutes; cover it and let dough rest for 10 minutes, then knead again until very smooth. This dough is now ready to use. (If you have a mixer with a dough hook, you can mix it that way. I did but wished I hadn't.) Cut the ball of dough into 4 to 8 pieces and roll each into a ball. Put back in the bowl and cover while you are rolling and filling other portions.

FILLING RAVIOLI
With a rolling pin, roll out a portion of the dough (maybe 1/4 of the dough) on a floured surface to the correct width. You want it thin but not so thin it will rip or tear. Cut the dough into pieces about 3 inches by 4 inches. At one end – in the center – put a blob of filling. With a little basting brush (or a clean finger), brush a little water (or egg wash) on the edges. Pull the other end over the top and seal the edges with the tines of a fork like you would a pie crust. Put it on a plate and put aside until you’re done filling ravioli. Continue rolling and filling until all the filling is gone. (I sometimes have to make another bowl of pasta dough.)

COOKING RAVIOLI
Bring a LARGE pot of salted water to a boil. Gently put in the ravioli and cook until the pasta is the consistency you want. Stir every once in a while so they don’t stick to the pan. It could be 20 minutes or more depending on the thickness of the dough. (Don’t forget; you are also cooking the sausage filling.) Keep an eye on it. When it’s done, throw sauce over them and eat.





8 comments:

Madi and Mom said...

Oh my gosh NOW I AM STAVING.
That is one delicious looking plate and the checked tablecloth is the finishing touch!!!
That must have taken lots of time to make all of that.
Madi and Mom

The 'splorin' Wolfies said...

that is neat--i might just try this--it alwasy appeals to me to do things home made that you would normally buy--i like the idea of making your own lasagna noodles, and pastas --well done!

Gloria said...

Homemade pastas are the best! I have a simple plastic press that would be magical for these, I think lol. I will try and take a pic of it and send it to you. I have often thought of doing a receipe blog. Taken pics, that is far as I have gotton. lol

Kathy said...

A great blog post, with very good pics and the recipe, too!!

My mouth is watering just looking at the pics!!

Course, I'm also envious of all your counter space! LOL
Hugs, Kathy

JackDaddy said...

That looks so good, but the tall guy has a much easier recipe for raviolis.

1) Open can

2) Heat

Yummmmmm!! :)

Ms. ~K said...

Oh B, you make it sound/look so easy, until I read the detailed recipe...I think I'll go to Olive Garden, although I'm sure it's not nearly as delish as yours!

Dory and the Mama said...

Mmmmmmmmmm, sounds nummy!! I think I will put that on the list of things to try this year!

Martha and Bailey said...

Oh Yum, we need to try that recipe - sorry we seem to be so far behind!
xx