Once we hear “it’s easier to buy it at the store” two things happen:
1) we dramatically roll our eyes
2) we come up with a yummy, at home recipe that’s better than what can be purchased at the store.
While it might be easier to buy store bought meals they usually are not as tasty and are full of preservatives and junk. In other words, easier is not always better. Once we realized we can make similar items but altered to our specific tastes we were all over it. One of our favorite examples of this is RAVIOLI’S. From homemade noodles, to our own filling, this recipe has never let us down. Yes, it is time consuming, but boy oh boy is it worth it!
Let’s Start With The Noodles:
To make the noodle part of the ravioli you need the following:
- 3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup warm water (you will probably only use about half of this)
Start by CAREFULLY placing your flour on a flexible kitchen mat. If you do not have one laying around a regular cutting board works just as well. Once you have your mound of flour make a little well in the center.
Next, add your salt, eggs, and 2tsp of your warm water to the well. Slowly whisk everything together while carefully bringing in a little more of the flour from the outside. The more flour you bring into the well the drier it will become. This is where the warm water comes into play. Add a little bit as soon as the well of ingredients becomes too dry.
Keep combining everything and bringing the flour in until you have one large mound.
Now it’s time to put in a little elbow grease and knead the dough. Always knead because this is when the gluten strands are warmed and stretched. Usually we suggest kneading for a good 3-4 minutes. However, the longer you work the dough the better.
Now It Is Filling Time
After trying dozens of different combinations, we have concocted a spicy sausage and mushroom filling that will knock your socks off:
- 1/2 pound of cooked spicy turkey sausage (you can use pork if you feel so inclined)
- 8 ounces of defrosted and drained spinach (get ALL of the liquid out)
- 8 ounces of sautéed baby portobello mushrooms
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2/3 cup of drained ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons of garlic salt
- 1/2 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
Combine everything in a large mixing bowl and set aside until it is time to fill the ravioli’s. Oh, side note, if you do not like spicy you can use regular Italian sausage.
Next, It’s Dough Pressing Time
First, sprinkle flour on your work surface and roll the dough out with a rolling pin. Next, use a sharp knife to cut your dough into long strips.
These strips should be about 3 inches wide. Furthermore, anything wider than that will get stuck in the pasta press side of the pasta machine. Next, we put these bad boys through the pasta crank at 8 and make our way down to 3.
Consequently, we know each pasta maker measures differently. The idea is to get it about two notches before being too thin. After a few failed attempts we concluded we are happy when we end on 3.
Since this is a fresh pasta recipe we do not want to dry out the pasta. That being said, it takes time to get each strip pressed so we hang the dough strips in a makeshift drying rack while finishing up making the rest.
Immediately after hanging your pressed pasta up spritz it with a few squirts of water. Frequently use the water bottle on the dough so that it does not dry out!
Now We Stuff Some Ravioli’s
If there is one piece of advise we can give it’s DO NOT OVERSTUFF. We know we know, you want as much flavor in each bite as possible. However, overstuffing will cause your raviolis to burst and nobody wants that. NOBODY.
First, put a small spoonful of your mixed filling about an inch apart on your noodle dough. Too far apart with leave you with “doughy” ravioli’s and too close will make it impossible to seal them.
Next, lay another strip of dough on top of the strip with filling. Though you do not want to the top strip to be too tight you also do not want it to be too loose. This can also lead to doughy ravioli’s. In addition to not wanting it too tight, make sure the top piece is about two inches longer than the bottom piece. While most of your strips are the same, make sure the shorter one is on bottom because the top strip has to cover the mound of filling.
Then use a sharp knife and cut your individual ravioli’s. Once you have separate pieces take a fork to close the top and bottom pieces of dough. While you do not want to press too hard to cut through, you also want to make sure they’re each closed tightly.
Finally, It’s Ravioli Cookin’ Time
Following all the work you just put into these tasty little bites of delicious flavor it’s time to cook them up and eat them. Finally. First, boil them in salted water in a shallow pan. If you toss them all in a large pot to boil they will shred. Second, toss them up in some butter. Lastly, top with cheese and sprinkle of crushed red peppers.
Never have we made these tasty pockets of flavor and not enjoyed the hell out of them. Whenever we make them for guests they are always impressed. This time, however, we are about to grab a glass of wine, cozy up on the couch, and selfishly eat them all!