I won’t keep you waiting any longer.
I’m sure that you’ve spent a lot of your time wondering how I used the ricotta that I posted about last. Well, the suspense is over.
It went into homemade ravioli!
I just added 2 Tbs. of Italian seasoning, 2 whisked eggs, and a dash of nutmeg to the gigantic amount of ricotta I made. It definitely made more than was necessary for a night’s worth of ravioli, but I now have plenty of ravioli frozen and ready to use for many dinners to come (all in an afternoon’s work). I’d say if you used half of the ricotta recipe mentioned in the previous post (to make about 3/4 – 1 lb of ricotta), you would make a reasonable amount of ravioli (but you’ll probably still have some leftovers). That’s ok, it tastes awesome and the feeling of accomplishment that comes from seeing your own from-scratch ravioli is totally worth it!
In addition to 1/2 of the ricotta recipe, you’ll also need to make pasta dough. The ingredients include:
- 3 cups all-purpose organic, unbleached flour
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Tbs. water to start
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/4 Tsp. salt
Mix the dry ingredients and form a well in the center in which to add the wet ingredients. Begin to knead everything together. It starts out pretty crumbly, but it gets easier to work with as you go along. Feel free to add additional Tbs. of water at a time to help with the process. I ended up using a lot more than 3 Tbs. of water, but I found it helpful to go slowly with this so that I didn’t get the dough too wet and sticky.
When the dough becomes smooth, it’s ready to roll out with a rolling pin or put through a pasta machine. We were using a CucinaPro(TM) pasta maker. The dough goes through 8 different times and the width of the rollers keeps getting smaller so you end up with a very smooth, thin sheet of pasta. It’s perfect for ravioli.
When the dough has been pressed, you can add about a Tbs. of ricotta mixture for each ravioli. We used a mold (see the bottom part of the mold in the picture above), but there are also devices that function like cookie cutters to help with making ravioli.
Fresh pasta cooks very quickly. We added some of the ravioli to a pot of boiling water and cooked for about 5 minutes until they were done.
I can’t believe we made these completely from scratch!
And it was also a fun day of inter-generational cooking. Grandma was able to share stories of how her family made pasta when she was young, and we all worked together to feed the dough through the pasta maker. It made me think about the fact that we’ve traded irreplaceable family moments that come from home cooked meals for the convenience of pre-packaged food. The sense of accomplishment and pride that comes from home cooked meals is well worth the effort — these feelings just do not come from opening a can to cook or microwaving a meal!
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Reading this and seeing your photo brought back fond memories of making homemade pasta with my grandmother and my father. Freshly made pasta is so good!
Isn’t it, though?!
I’m glad I could help bring back such good memories – it is truly a divine feeling to make pasta with family! 🙂
so cool! i’ve been wanting to do diy ravioli for awhile now! where did you get that mold? it reminds me of an ice tray lol
It was really great to finally make these! I actually just found the mold on amazon…
Hope you get to try them out soon!
Grandma and I used a dowel and jelly jar. I love that your Grandma is here. I was just a kid but it will stay with me forever. In case you’re curious, I’m compelled to put my memory wherever I think it will be appreciated. That said,THX for indulging me 🙂
Grandma spreads the whitest of linen over the tables on the sun porch and smoothes the nests of wrinkles until they lay flat. She sets the rolling pin, flour canister and jelly jar within reach. Then she dons her apron and worries the wispy gray strands on the nape of her neck into the black hairnet.
“Guardi,” she says.
Grandma makes a “well” of flour in the center of a large wooden board and, in the middle, cracks the eggs. She beats the eggs ever so gently, blending the inside wall of flour as she goes. Soon the dough is ready, the creamy ricotta is drained. The scent of freshly chopped mint and grated nutmeg hangs in the air. Grandma moves in and out of the kitchen, gathering a few utensils, a fork for crimping and a bowl of water. It is ravioli day.
I watch as Grandma smooths the dough into a circle, comic blue veins dancing across her hands. With pronounced thrusts of the rolling pin, she creates an unplowed field, a large thin rectangle of dough ready to receive the ricotta mixture. Her deft movements leave rows of milky mounds which she skillfully covers with a fold of the dough. With brisk moves of the knife, she cuts the mounds apart. As she works, she hums and Caruso croons, the faint echo of his wedding canzone coming from the Victrola. Then it is my turn. My job is to seal and crimp. Grandma watches as I invert the jelly jar over each mound and twist it a few half turns. Then I press the tines of the fork in the edges all the way around until the ravioli is made fast. We work together like that for hours, sealed in quiet. Washed in velvet light, the porch cools as the late day sun rests its face on the window sill. The afternoon’s work lay around us, each ravioli the size of a mouse’s ear.
I loved being on the sun porch with Grandma. I worked at her elbow, I pressed against her side, I leaned into her thigh. The shape of her lay like a promise between us. I don’t recall if we talked much during those long afternoons. All I remember is that she hugged me tight and called me “Bella”.
Such a beautiful memory! Thanks so much for sharing.
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