Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cheese Filled Ravioli With Red Sauce

I said I'd post a cheese filed version of ravioli, so I am.

I love ravioli. I love them so much. It's pasta and dumpling. Two of my favorite things in the whole world, rolled (or rather stuffed) into one wonderful package. 

This recipe is really simple, though admittedly, takes some labor to make. As all dumplings do. Gotta build me some sort of automated device for this. Someday.

Anyway, this is a more traditional preparation of ravioli, but I have some salami mixed in with the ricotta and romano for some extra flavor (filling from here). I served them with Mario Batali's "basic marinara", which I've used and posted about before. It's my "go-to" red sauce. It's simple and it rules.

Let's begin!

Cheese Filled Ravioli With Red Sauce 

Pasta
400g of flour
4 eggs
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Filling
15oz ricotta cheese
2.5oz freshly grated Romano cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
2.5oz salami, chopped fine
1 dash nutmeg
salt and pepper

Red Sauce
3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
1 28-ounce cans of tomatoes


==


Begin with the pasta. This is a double order of the normal amount I use since the filling makes a lot. I ended up freezing the extras for the future.

Get your flour weighed out and add the salt and oil. 

Form a well as we've done many times in the past and continue to make your dough.


When you're kneading is finished, split the dough in half. 

You could do this in 1/4s if you want. I think next time I will because I think you can roll it thinner with less dough. Up to you.


While the pasta rests for 20 minutes, go ahead and make the filling.

Empty the contents of a 15oz container of ricotta. I used whole milk.


Weigh out your salami. I ended up using 14 slices. 


Mince it.


Add to the bowl.


Grate in the Romano. I weighed it out on wax paper and added it from there.


I gave it a sprinkle of pepper and a dusting of fresh nutmeg.


Finally, beat an egg lightly and pour in.


Mix everything up well and store in the fridge until you're ready to build your ravioli.


Your dough should be rested by now, so we roll.


Get it flat as possible since we're going to be using two layers for these ravioli.


Cut out your ravioli.

I used a glass that was 2.5" in diameter.


Beautiful pasta rounds
Begin filling your ravioli.

Get a small bowl of water and a brush (or your fingers) and brush the inside edge of one side.

I used an oversized teaspoon of filling.


Mush it down until there's a small edge remaining.


Start and the back and seal the edges with your fingertips, squeezing the air out and stretching the top cover, ever so slightly to make it around the edge.


If some cheese escapes, it's ok. 

Just make sure the edges are sealed shut.


Continue until you're out of dough.


Do the second part the same way.


I had a little filling left over, but I think if I had stuffed a few more, more full, I'd have used it all, but this is as close as I've come to using all of the filling in one of these recipes.

Store them in the freezer until you're ready to eat. Store all the extras in the freezer too, obviously.

==

I modified the sauce a little because I wanted it to be smooth for the ravioli.

I just added everything to the food processor for a spin before adding it to the pan.

Start with the onion and garlic.


Run until broken down.


Add to a saucepan with your olive oil and let cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Don't let it brown, just let it soften.


Run the carrot through the processor.


Add it to the mix.


Add the thyme and cook for about 5 minutes.


Pour the tomatoes in and pulse until smooth.


Smooth(er) anyway
 Add to the pot.


Season with some salt. I used a teaspoon or so.

Let this cook, covered over low heat for about an hour for everything to marry up.


==

When you're ready to eat, get a big pot on the boil.

When it's ready, add the ravioli (I used 24 for the 2.5 of us. I was full after). Cover and bring back up to a boil.


Once they are all floating and swollen, they're done. Mine went about 8 minutes total.


Serve with the sauce and a grating of Romano over the top.

Overall, the meal was great. The pasta was a little thick in places, but I was more obsessed with not wasting dough between the pasta circles than getting it as thin as I could, but man, I tried to get it as thin as I could. 

The sauce was awesome as always and the filling was superb. The saltiness of the Romano and salami were perfect with the creamy ricotta.

This is an awesome meal that takes some time to prepare, but it totally worth it.


Enjoy!

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