Because I’m Italian

I feel like with my Italian heritage, I should’ve done this years ago but in fact, in my almost 30 years, I’ve never done it. What’s that “it” you may ask? Well, for the first time, I made pasta! Ravioli to be exact. And it actually turned out really well (after two tries). There are two reasons I never attempted home made Ravioli. First, we don’t have the pasta maker attachment for our kitchen aid and I kind of thought that was a necessary pre-requisite. Secondly, I never used to like ravioli. I had a strong (unwarranted) hatred for Ricotta cheese. It always grossed me out how lumpy it was (I still won’t eat cottage cheese). Now, I’m not really sure what my younger self was thinking! How did I miss out on 5 cheese lasagna? Stuffed shells? Ravioli and tortellini?  I’m making up for it nowadays though. Lasagna is our traditional Christmas eve dinner, after all. So without further adieu, here’s the recipe we used.

We made the pasta from this recipe. That was our second attempt recipe. In our first attempt we used a recipe that called for water instead of olive oil and it was terrible. It was far too gluten-y. When we tried to roll it out, it looked a little like this:

Even after what felt like 20 minutes worth of this:

After finding the Tyler Florence recipe though, we were cooking!

As for the filling we kind of just kept adding things until it tasted right. Here’s what we ended up with:
1 cup – Part-Skim Ricotta
1 cup – Mozzarella (buy it fresh and shred it)
1/2 cup – whipped cream cheese
1/3 cup – shredded parmesan.

We also added a few bread crumbs (maybe a quarter cup), about 3 tablespoons of an oregano, parsley and garlic mixture. It’s mostly Oregano with a touch of parsley and garlic. It’s our own homemade Italian seasoning. With all those ingredients, we ended up with this beautiful mixture, which we tried our best not to take too many samples of but it was nearly impossible.

Then the ravioli process began… We just used about a tablespoon sized scoop to lay out the balls of cheese.

Then you brush around the cheese balls with your egg wash so that when you fold the pasta over, it’ll stick together. The obvious next step was then to fold the pasta in half to cover the cheesey balls. We gently pushed down the dough to connect everything, and then used a pizza cutter to slice them all up. And then we repeated the process with the leftover dough from round 1.

After everything is sliced up, you still need to push out the extra air pockets that form, and then use a fork to squish together the pasta and prep them for boiling. They were bigger than I expected but no bigger than what you’d get at a restaurant. We got about 20 raviolis and had some leftover cheese mixture when everything was said and done. We basically just snacked on that with some bread because it’s delicious.

Also, I was clearly the better ravioli maker in the family, compared to my husband. The prettier raviolis are mine.

Here’s my hand to show about how big they were. Like I said, rather large, like my weird looking hand.

We actually made these on a Saturday and cooked them for Sunday dinner. They held up really well in the refrigerator and still tasted nice and fresh when we cooked them up. We also made our own sauce but that’s something I always do. Canned sauce is a big no no in my family. Trust me when I tell you it’s one of the easiest things to do and the taste is just infinitely better! That recipe is a family one though, so in case I ever become famous, I’ll save that recipe for my own personal vault.

The raviolis could not have turned out better and I was really thrilled I can now say I’ve made my own pasta! It was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to do it again! I already have some recipes in the works. Most notably with my favorite current ingredient – butternut squash! mmmm…

Categories: Recipes, Sunday Dinner | Leave a comment

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