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Old 02-09-2006, 05:24 PM   #1
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Homemade ravioli

Hello,

I'm sure this is a subject that has been covered a lot, but I thought I would ask again. I want to make some homemade ravioli. I've never done it before and I've never made pasta dough. I'm the adventurous type so I'd like to give it a try.

I assume a pasta maker is required? I don't have one yet. If it's not required do I just roll it out really thin? If I decide to at least make the filling prior to getting a pasta maker, if it's required, would using (perhaps store bought) wonton wrappers be ok? Or what would be second best to homemade dough?

Thanks for any help, I really appreciate it. Now I'm hungry......

Thanks,
Nick

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Old 02-09-2006, 07:50 PM   #2
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You can use the won ton wrappers for ravioli. Of course home made would be even better but I know what you mean about not having a pasta maker.
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Old 02-09-2006, 08:32 PM   #3
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We use a pasta maker, one of those things with two rollers.

People have for many centuries made thin pasta dough without a gizmo, but we find it convenient.

Wonton wrappers work fine.

When we make ravioli usually fill it with a lobster or crab mixture. Don't have that much free time and decided that when we do it will go all out. And make the sauce out of the shells.

Making pasta at home for ravioli can be done with a variety of recipes, the difference usually is based upon the flour used.

Cooking is giving things a shot. You will sometimes win and sometimes, well, your product will not be the best.

It happens to us all.

Just try to figure out where the recipe failed and do better next time.

Good luck and keep in touch with DC.
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Old 02-09-2006, 10:38 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help Shunka and auntdot, I really appreciate it. I guess I'm going to give ravioli a shot tomorrow with my aunt and cousins. It should be fun. This time I'll probably go with wonton (or is it won ton? I never know) just to be a little more on the safe side.

I would make the ravioli with shrimp or crab, but my wife and aunt aren't seafood eaters. I was thinking of going with wild mushroom ravioli (I found a recipe somewhere on DC) with roasted red pepper cream sauce. Or is there a better ravioli that goes with red pepper sauce? We have some peppers I want to use.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-09-2006, 11:50 PM   #5
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Nickfinity. As you want to go with roasted red peppers and wild mushrooms for the filling, why don't you give eveyone a curve-ball with the sauce. Make a homemade enchillada sauce, with chunks of diced tomato and diced onion in it?

Be sure to wet the edges of the ravioli with egg wash to glue them together, or risk the edges seperating and spilling the filling into the cooking water. Also, the water should be just hot enough to barely start boiling. The gentle water won't move the ravioli around as much and again will allow the shapes to stay together better.

In addition to the boiled raviolies, and since you are using won ton wrappers, take half of them and deep fry to a golden brown. Serve both the boiled and fried version in the same meal. Use the sauce for the boiled ravioli, and a good tomato salsa to go with the fried wontons.

If you want to get really creative, place sugar and apple, or apple pie filling in some of the wrappers, deep-fry, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve hot, with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Or place a single, pitted-cherry in a wrapper and do the same.

You can get very creative with this meal. Enjoy.

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Old 02-10-2006, 08:23 AM   #6
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I love using won tons and filling with different foods. I sure will try the apple filling. Sounds yummy.Thanks for the idea.
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Old 02-10-2006, 09:39 AM   #7
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Those apple raviolis sound really good. I was actually thinking of using roasted red pepper sauce rather than including the peppers in the raviolis. Would that be ok?

Thanks again.
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Old 02-10-2006, 09:51 AM   #8
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Hi Nick, I regularly make fresh pasta by hands without pasta making machine. Though I am sure there are much improved versions around these days, once I tried it many years ago, and found that cleaning and washing each and every bits with particles of dough stubbornly stuck in every little corner was more of a hassle than a little elbow grease I put into for kneading.
And every Italian mammas have done this for ages without any machine, so if you don't have the appliance don't worry too much...

Here is what I do...
the main ingredients are flour, eggs and water.
Use one medium egg to every 100g of flour (about 3,5oz).
Keep a small jug of water and additional flour nearby and handy.
Wash your hands well.
Pile the flour on a flat board, making a well in the middle.
Crack the eggs into the well, then carefully mix in the flour from the top edge into the egg mixture, gradually blending everything together. (At this point some people stir the eggs with folk before starting to blend in the flour, but I usually don't bother with that) Don't worry if egg escapes and oozes outside, just push it back up with the outside edge of your hand and keep blending it with the flour.

Once the eggs and flour are blended, start kneading vigorously and evenly, for at least 15 minutes until the dough is completely smooth and elastic.
You have to feel the dough while you are kneading. If the dough is too sticky and gooey, add a little flour. If the dough is too dry and hard, add some water. At the beginning of the kneading the dough may feel quite unmanageable, but that is also normal, keep on working it and adjusting the texture with water or flour, sooner or later it will become much "tamer"!!
Form a ball and cover it with a wet cloth, let it rest for about 30 minutes.
Dust well the board with flour.
Then flatten the dough with a rolling pin evenly, dividing the dough in a few pieces as needed, to about 1-1,5mm thickness.
At this point, you can also make it into lasagna/cannelloni sheets, or cut into thin strips to make tagliatelle. It is (at least for me) almost impossible to stretch the dough into a regular shape (rectangle or circle), if the odd pieces are left at the edges, that is quite normal and you can also use that, cut them up in anyway possible and cook it and enjoy that with your choice of sugo. (they also have an official name in Italian "maltagliate", or badly cut, but widely used anyway, after all, they taste good just as well!)

For making ravioli, there are two options. If you have a proper ravioli cutter, you can arrange the filling on a stretched sheet, small pile at a time, then wet where that is going to be the borders of the raviolis with a brush, then cover with another sheet, then press where that is going to be cut rightly with finger. then make the cut.

Alternatively you can use a glass or biscuit cutter or something round to cut out the dough, and fill each round piece of the sheet with the filling, again wet the border and press together the border evenly. (you can either fold over the round sheet and make a half moon shape, or use 2 sheets over each other and make a round one.)

The important thing is not to get too overzealous with the amount of filling as they could easily explode while being cooked in water.
When you cook it make sure to use plenty of water and make it come to a full boil, also cook one portion at a time at most (not to cook too many at a time as the water temperature will go down too low). when they rise to surface, they are ready.

For fillings, you can use your imagination and experiment with different things, I personally like ricotta with either different kind of mushrooms or spinach and some additional cheeses, or chopped prosciuto or speck.
If you are not going to cook them immediately, dust them with flour and store them in a fridge.

Yes, it is a bit of work but also enjoyable and freshly made pasta is definetely worth all the effort. Give it a try, and buon appetito!!
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Old 02-10-2006, 12:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickfinity
Those apple raviolis sound really good. I was actually thinking of using roasted red pepper sauce rather than including the peppers in the raviolis. Would that be ok?

Thanks again.
Using roasted red peppers in the sauce is a great idea. Also, I agree with Urmaniac13 completely. Homemade fresh pasta is a wonderful thing. And resting the dough is critical to success as it allows the gluten to relax. If you don't let it rest begore rolling it out, it's too elastic and will act like rubber. That is as you try to roll it thin enough, it will stretch while the rolling pin is on it, but as soon as the pressure is withdrawn, it will draw back toward the center and thicken up again.

I often make noodles using the same method. When you make your own, you can do things like mixing spinach, or basil, or dried tomato in a blender with the water, and work that into the dough. You also control the salt content. You can add flavorings that will complement the food you are preparing.

Examples of this include adding ginger and garlic for oriental dishes such as chow mein or lo mein, adding cinamon and sugar for desert items, or flavoring with oregano and basil for a more Meditaranean flavor.


Making your own pasta opens up so many creative possibilities.

Seeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 02-10-2006, 01:18 PM   #10
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Goodweed and Urmaniac13 - thanks a million for the help. I'm going to give homemade pasta a try. I'll let you know how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I'll probably need it.
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