ravioli extravaganza

i didn't take pictures.

not a single one.

so you'll have to use your imagination on this one.

we had a ravioli tasting dinner last saturday. it was unbelievably good.
so good we're trying to think of other tasting parties we could have...

i can't decide which filling i like better, but my favorite combination was definitely the cheese & basil filled wheat pasta. the nuttiness of the pasta with the cheese was perfect. stay tuned for the sauce recipe - a to die for light alfredo - you'll have to ask chris for his vodka sauce.

and after making close to three hundred (!) of these things, i figured out the best way to make them. roll out the pasta, precut into circles with a cookie cutter. fill half of the circles with the filling. take an empty pasta circle, brush the entire top surface with water, place over a filled circle and line up one side of the edges while the filled ravioli is on the counter. pick up the ravioli and use your fingers to pinch the edges closed.


cut the pasta into circles. pick one up and brush one side with water. place filling in the middle of the wet side. fold the ravioli over on itself (like a pirogi) and pinch the edges closed.

either way works well. and this is definitely faster and easier than trying to lay a whole sheet of pasta on the filled ones and then cutting them out.

ground beef, mushroom, and tomato filled semolina ravioli

for the filling
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
12 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4-1/2 cup each of parmesan, mozzarella, & fontina cheese, grated or diced finely
1/4 cup marinara sauce

1. saute the beef in olive oil over medium heat until mostly cooked, but still slightly pink.
2. add the mushrooms & garlic and cook until the meat is brown and the mushrooms are cooked.
3. remove from heat and cool.
4. mix the cheeses and marinara sauce into the cooled beef mixture.

for the pasta
3 cups semolina flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
water - add it last, use enough to make the dough come together

artichoke filled egg pasta

for the filling - adapted from smitten kitchen
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
small onion, diced small
1 box frozen artichoke hearts
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup asiago cheese, grated
salt, pepper, nutmeg

1. heat the olive oil and butter in a saute pan over medium heat. add the onions and sweat, 3-5 minutes.
2. add the artichokes and cook until warmed through and starting to brown slightly. season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
3. remove from heat and process in a food processor until artichokes are in small pieces. you can make your artichokes as large or small as you want. cool slightly so the cheese doesn't instantly melt when you add it.
4. mix the cheeses into the artichoke mixture. taste & season again if needed.

for the pasta
3 cups all purpose flour
3 eggs

cheese & basil filled wheat pasta

for the filling
12 ounces buffalo mozzarella, shredded
12 ounces asiago, shredded
1/2 cup basil, shredded
couple tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper

1. mix the cheeses & basil together.
2. add olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture comes together and holds its shape relatively well.
3. season with salt & pepper.

for the pasta
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 eggs

pasta instructions

1. put the flour in a mound in the middle of a cutting board (or in the bottom of a huge bowl). make a well in the middle.
2. mix the eggs & other liquids in a separate bowl.
3. add the egg mixture in the well and use a fork to slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs. for the wheat dough, you may need to add a little water, since the wheat flour is drier. i added close to 1/4 cup.
4. when the mixture comes together as a dough, use your hands to finish mixing.
5. knead for 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and slightly elastic.
6. form into a ball, wrap in plastic, and let sit on the counter for at least an hour.
7. roll out using a pasta roller to the thinnest setting.
8. cut & form ravioli. place on a sheet pan dusted with semolina flour to prevent sticking.
9. boil immediately for 3-4 minutes or freeze.

to freeze - lay on a single layer on a sheet pan. place in zip top bags and freeze for up to 1 month. they might last longer, but not in my house.

to cook from frozen - boil frozen ravioli for 5-6 minutes and serve.

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