Whether you finally convinced her to go out with you, prove to your husband and kids that you can cook, or just want something delicious, making your own ravioli is a simple process that yields a superb dish in the end.
Taking the time to cook for your partner, be it a new relationship or a thirty year sentence, is something that is always well appreciated. I don’t mean to pick on guys here, but man up. Your partner deserves it and you know it.
I’ve broken the recipe into two sections. Read this recipe in its entirety before attempting the recipe or shopping for groceries.
Note: This recipe calls for a food processor. If you don’t have one, that’s okay. What I would do is opt for a cheese ravioli mixture. Instead of mushrooms, substitute another soft or semi soft cheese such as goat cheese or tallegio. Do not use cream cheese. Then follow the same steps, just make sure your parsley, onions and garlic are diced fine. Crush the nuts with a rolling pin. The texture will still be delicious.
Ingredients (6 servings)
- 5 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 4 oz Ricotta cheese
- 1/4c Pecans or Walnuts
- 1/4c Fresh Parsley
- 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic
1. Put a few tablespoons of Olive oil in a saute pan and bring up to temperature over Medium-High heat (If your stove has numbers, that’s like a 7). Saute the mushrooms until they begin to releases their juices. Then add the onion and garlic. Saute together until it looks like the second picture. Take the pan off the heat.
2. Now we are going to make the filling. Start by putting the parsley into a food processor. No need to chop it, the machine will do all the work for you. Then add the mushrooms and nuts. Pulse until the ingredients come together like the third picture. Then add the ricotta and parmesan cheese. Pulse again until the filling becomes a paste. If you find the mixture too dry, add some olive oil a teaspoon at a time. This will add moisture and flavor. Water is flavorless, so adding this to the mixture would take flavor away.
It’s now time to start making ravioli. I posted earlier how to make your own pasta dough. As a substitute, your favorite supermarket should sell wanton wrappers. They are becoming widely available and will save you time. I will warn you, though, these wrappers lack quality flavor and cannot compare to making fresh dough. You can also find fresh pasta sheets in the refrigerated section, but these can cost quite a bit in comparison. The following directions will assume that you have a sheet of pasta in front of you. This could be accomplished in a variety of ways:
- You used a pasta machine and gently rolled your fresh dough out
- You used a rolling pin and rolled out your fresh dough into thin sheets (cut your disc of dough in half to make it easier to work with) about 4 inches wide and 18 inches long.
- You bought a sheet of pasta from the market
- Your Nana from Milan came over to show you how its done and then left you to do the rest while she “sips” sherry in the living room.
3. Using a cookie cutter, cut out large circles from your pasta dough. Refrain from using a glass as the lip is wide and you risk the chance of breaking the glass and making an unexpected trip to the hospital. Spoon a tablespoon worth of filling into the middle of each circle.
3. Dip one of your fingers into a glass of water and run it along the edges of the ravioli. This will create culinary glue in which to seal the ravioli. Be sure not to soak the dough. This will create a slippery surface that will not seal easily. Fold one end of the pasta over to the other starting in the middle, then move to the sides, pressing together with your fingers. You will be left with moon shaped pasta. If you would like to make sure your dough is completely sealed, use a fork and press firmly into the edges. This also makes a pretty decoration (not shown here, but I’m sure you can visualize it). I’ve also seen a pasta sealer in the gadget section of kitchen stores. You can get one if you want, but to me this is a unitasker and has no place in the kitchen.
You will want to place the ravioli on a baking sheet lined with semolina flour or some other kind of agent that will prevent it from sticking. The flour on the outside of the dough will react with the air or eggs or something and begin to melt on the counter creating a sticky mess.
Note: If you plan to freeze the pasta, place the ravioli on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, making sure they are not touching each other. Put the entire baking sheet into the freezer and wait for several hours. Your ravioli will be mostly solid and can then be moved to a freezer bag. To cook, place frozen ravioli in boiling water for around 8 minutes.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. If you have a large stock pot that has been collecting dust because you have no idea what to do with it, now is the time to get it out. Do be sure to clean it out first though. Fill the pot halfway with water and place on high heat (number stove people, all the way up to 11).
While the water is coming to a boil, take the time to make the sauce.
- 5 oz sliced mushrooms (buy a 10oz container for this entire recipe)
- 1 1/4c Chicken stock
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp butter
5. Saute the mushrooms in much the same way as you did before in a couple tbsp of Olive Oil. When they are almost done, add in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid has reduced and the color has darkened. This will take around 8 minutes depending on how wide your pan is and how much heat you have pouring out of the stove. When the sauce has reduced, add the butter and lower the heat to simmer (Number-stove people, this is a 3).
6. Put the ravioli into the pot of boiling water. If you have lots, put them in batches so they don’t stick together. The goal is to not have the water stop boiling. As you are dropping the ravioli into the water (and be careful please), look at the water and see if they are bubbles rising. No bubbles = stop and wait. When fresh ravioli float to the top, they are done (frozen ravioli will float regardless). This will not take long so do not walk away. When they are finished, remove the ravioli and add to the sauce. This will allow the pasta to soak up flavor from the sauce and finish cooking to a perfect al dente. When you’ve added all your ravioli, gently stir the sauce over being sure not to burst open your pasta.
7. Plate your pasta and garnish with a sprig of parsley.