Sunday, August 23, 2009

it's delectable, it's delovely

Yesterday afternoon, we treated ourselves to a movie at the theater (hey, they have functioning AC...can you blame us?). Julie & Julia was a wonderful distraction from the super-humid, drizzly day. We both would've been happy with a movie only about Julia, but the Julie part wasn't that bad, and it was fun to see random parts of NYC that we recognize...and she's a blogger. What's not to love?

The movie inspired us to make something exciting for supper (shocking, right?), and we had just the our freezer. A few weeks back, we made ravioli from scratch. My folks gave us this cool ravioli mold as a gift last spring, and we wanted to put it to the test. It worked flawlessly (not one ravioli blew up in the water!) and the pasta was delicious. Much to our delight, the original batch had such a high yield that we were able to freeze half (just pop raw ones in a Ziploc freezer bag, nothing fancy or complicated). When we cooked them up last night, they turned out just as well as their counterparts had in their debut.

So here's how we made the ravioli...the ravioli recipe was inspired by America's Test Kitchens. We threw together the sauce ourselves.

For the filling:
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 oz. low-fat, pre-shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg yolk (set aside the white, you'll need it later)
4 chives, minced
3 oz. prosciutto (we used 18-month aged), chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix it all up and set aside.

For the pasta (sorry, no photos):
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra as needed
3 large eggs, beaten

1. On a cutting board or clean counter, form the flour into a mound. Make a little well on top and pour the eggs into it. Rough it up with your fingers until the dough looks like little peas.
2. Add water, 1/2 tsp. at a time, and start forming the dough into a ball. If it starts to get sticky, add a pinch of flour.
3. Knead the dough until it's smooth, about 2 minutes. Set aside and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.

For the sauce:
5 red and yellow tomatoes, cored, seeded, and diced
A good handful of basil, cut into strips (I rolled them in a chiffonade and used a scissors to make this easier)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

While the dough rests, mix up all the sauce ingredients and set aside.

Assembling the ravioli:
A pinch of salt
1 egg white

1. Fill a large saucepan with water, throw in a pinch of salt, and turn up the burner to high.
2. After your dough has rested, roll it out on a floured cutting board or counter top.
3. Once it's about 1/8 of an inch thick, lay a sheet of it over the ravioli mold. Press the bubbly white thing over the top to make the pockets for the filling.
4. Spoon about one Tbl. of the filling into each pocket. Brush egg white around the edges of the pockets and cover with another sheet of pasta. Press down to seal and cut the edges. Gently flip the mold to remove the ravioli. Set them on a baking rack to dry for a little while (10 minutes, maybe).
5. Once the pasta feels a little bit cool and dusty, drop the ravioli into the boiling water and allow it to cook for around 4 minutes (they'll float, and will look bumpy). Fish them out of the water, top with sauce, and serve immediately.


Sarah said...

Now I need to get a ravioli mold. There is a little Italian restaurant in Hales Corners that makes fresh ravioli every night. I have tried almost all the different ones they have. Time for me to experiment on my own!!! And the sauce looks delish too!

kzcliffe said...

You've put me to shame! Grandma Kroll's ravioli molds from Aunt Louise are in our basement - still unused!
Your recipe and photos are inspiring.
Nothing so exciting and exotic here - tonight will be an attempt to transform leftovers - maybe the fresh tomatoes and peppers will work a little magic on that chicken...