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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Homemade Ravioli

Homemade Ravioli

Call me extravagant or a girl with too much time on her hands, but I love making homemade pasta! There is something so tranquil and special about creating an entire meal from scratch. 

My dream since I graduated from college was to go to Italy. I was saving up for months to take culinary classes in Tuscany. The program I wanted to use provided housing for their students in an old castle with english-speaking instructors. I still have day dreams of learning from cute elderly women, sharing their age-old techniques on making the best pastas, breads and sauces. 

I told my husband all about my dream of going to Italy to learn authentic Italian cooking and how I had to cancel my plans to take a job in Atlanta. The very next week an Amazon prime box was on our front porch, addressed to me. He surprised me with this amazing cookbook, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan. (Best husband EVER!!!)

This book is amazing! I've made homemade sauces and pastas in the past, but they have never turned out as well as they did when I started using this book. She does a great job of explaining techniques thoroughly and keeps each recipe so simple.

You can buy your own copy by clicking the link:

Homemade Ravioli Recipe

The dough recipe is from Essentials of Italian Cooking, mentioned above.
Preparation: 40 min
                  Cook Time: 20 min  Total Time: 60 min                       

          2 cups flour
          1 egg
          1 container ricotta cheese
          1 can crushed tomatoes
          4 Italian sausages
          1/4 cup chopped red or yellow onion
          1 tbsp chopped garlic
          1 tbsp garlic powder
          1 tbsp thyme
           2 tbsp olive oil
          1/4 cup fresh chopped basil + additional for garnish
           Salt & Pepper to taste 


          Begin by removing the meat from the sausage casing and cooking the sausages on medium heat in a
          frying pan with the chopped onion and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Cook until sausage is thoroughly cooked and
          onion is translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.

          We will now begin to make our pasta dough.
          Create a well with your flour on a clean surface and crack your egg in the center. Take a fork and whip
          the egg until the yolk and white are blended. Begin adding flour into the center of the well and mix with
          the egg until a dough begins to form. Cover your fingers with olive oil and begin pushing the dough away
          from you, fold in half, turn clockwise and repeat until the dough begins to feel soft like skin.

         Once your dough is ready, use a pasta machine or a rolling pin and begin thinning the dough.
         I started at the lowest setting of my pasta machine and ran the dough through until it was at a
         thinness of "3", about as thin as an envelope with a card inside.

         In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, chopped garlic, half of your fresh basil, and sausage and onion.
         Add salt and pepper to taste - about 1/2 tsp each. Cut your sheet of past in half. Wet one sheet of pasta
         with a small amount of water until it feels tacky. Add 1 tsp of your ricotta mixture to the sheet of wet
         pasta, leaving 2 inches on each side of the sheet. Once the sheet is full, take the other half and lay it on
         top of the ricotta dollops. Press the top sheet into the bottom and try and press out any air bubbles
         around each pocket. Take your ravioli stamp or a knife and begin cutting the sheets into raviolis. Repeat
         this process until you have enough raviolis for your meal.

          For the sauce - add the remaining onion and olive oil to a frying pan. Cook the onion until translucent.
          Pour the crushed tomatoes over the onions and add your remaining basil to the mixture.  Add salt &
          pepper to taste, and your spices. Cook until warm and then reduce heat to simmer.

           Fill  a pot with water and bring it to a boil on the stove. Add your fresh ravioli and cook until the pasta
           is al dente (about 5-8 min). Top your ravioli with the sauce and add fresh parmesan and chopped basil
           to garnish.

Click here to buy the pasta machine and ravioli stamp I used!

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