This will be the first pasta post of many, as I received multiple pasta making tools for Christmas. It is also the first item I can cross off my 2016 Baking Bucket List! These ravioli were surprisingly simple to make, and they tasted great. Though rolling the dough and shaping the ravioli does take some time (as any homemade pasta does), the process went much more smoothly than I thought it would. If you haven’t used a ravioli press before, I highly recommend it. I was surprised with the ease in which it produced ravioli, as well as how beautifully they came out.
Three Tips for Making Ravioli:
1. Flour, flour, flour! The dough, the pasta maker, and especially the ravioli press. I made the mistake of only lightly flouring the press the first time, and I had to work really hard to peel the ravioli out. As a result, that batch ended up pretty warped.
2. Once the filling is added to the press, add the second layer of dough and shape the ravioli somewhat quickly. I left mine in the rack for about 15 minutes while I took some pictures, and the filling stretched out the bottom layer of dough. The ravioli came out misshapen and ugly. Whoopsy.
3. After making the dough, let it rest for at least 30 minutes. It may be tempting to use the dough right away, but it really is much easier to work with once the gluten has relaxed.
1½ cups (12 oz.) ricotta cheese
1 cup (4 oz.) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
½ cup (4 oz.) mascarpone
1 egg yolk
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
Egg pasta dough:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1. Mix together filling ingredients. Cover and chill for at least one hour or up to overnight.
2. To make the dough, place 2 cups of the flour in a food processor. Add eggs and olive oil and process until a loose dough forms, about 10 seconds. Add remaining flour, one tablespoon at a time, until dough is moist but not sticky when pinched. You may not need all of it.
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until it is smooth and an even yellow with no streaks of flour. This will only take a minute or two. Shape dough into a ball, cover with an overturned bowl, and let rest for 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.
4. Cut dough into four equal pieces. Place three back under the bowl. Thoroughly dust the fourth piece and pasta machine rollers. Pat dough into a flattened disk, and pass through rollers on the widest setting. Fold into thirds, dust the outside with flour, and pass through rollers again. Repeat process about 5 times until dough is smooth and satiny.
5. Set rollers to the next smaller notch and pass floured dough through. Continue passing dough through progressively narrower rollers until it reaches desired thickness, about 1/8 – 1/16 inch. Cut dough sheet in half.
6. Using a heavily floured ravioli press (I used one by Norpro and highly recommend it!), loosely lay one half-sheet of dough over frame. Gently press indented tray down over dough. Remove tray and fill each indent with a heaping teaspoonful of cheese filling. Lay second half-sheet of dough over filling. Gently run a rolling pin over tray a few times to press filling down. Once surface is flat, increase pressure and roll pin over tray until metal serrations show through. Invert tray and lightly tap it on work surface to pop ravioli out. Lightly flour ravioli and set them aside. Gather scraps of dough from edges of press and set aside under bowl to be re-used and rolled into sheets. Repeat process of forming ravioli with remaining dough.
7. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook ravioli until al dente, 2-5 minutes. Drain water and gently toss ravioli with tomato sauce.
Yield: 5-6 dozen ravioli
(Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Mastering: Pasta, Noodles & Dumplings)