Monday, January 13, 2014

Making Ravioli

Making fresh pasta from scratch is by no means a simple process. But the end result is so good, and the experience of making homemade pasta together with family or friends is great time spent together in the kitchen. Here's how I made fresh ravioli with my sisters:

1) Make the pasta dough. There are many recipes out there, consisting primarily of flour and egg, but the Italians will tell you the measurements are somewhat arbitrary because you have to eyeball each dough mixture and determine for yourself whether it's too dry or too wet. For this ravioli dough we infused saffron into the water for the pasta dough, for an elegant, delicate flavor.

2) Next you roll out the dough and feed it through the pasta maker:

3) Then we lay a sheet of dough over the floured ravioli tray:

4) Then take a teaspoon of filling and place in each indentation. (Be careful not to overfill! I was guilty of this. It will make your ravioli explode in the pot.) I made the "four cheese" filling from a mixture of ricotta, shredded mozzarella, asiago, and parmesan, seasoned with black pepper and chopped fresh parsley:

5) Then lay a second sheet of dough over the top and press down the sides gently:

6) Then carefully flip your ravioli out of the tray onto a floured sheet pan covered in parchment paper:

and separate the ravioli along the serrated edges:

7) Next drop the ravioli into a pot of salted boiling water:

the ravioli will float to the surface when ready, only a minute or two of cooking. Ladle out of the pot and toss with sauce of choice. We made a saffron-infused champagne cream sauce.

We served the ravioli with seared scallops and roasted asparagus:

It was a decadent, elegant, and delicious New Year's Eve Meal!