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Old 12-16-2006, 10:57 PM   #1
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Ravioli - Stop it from coming apart?

heya,

I apologise in advance if this is the wrong forum, I couldn't really find one that fit this one, closest being pasta, but I wasn't sure if ravioli goes in there?

I'm trying to make mushroom and feta ravioli, and I'm having a problem getting the two pieces to stick together.

Initially, I used fresh lasagne sheets from a packet, place a small bit of mixture in the middle and used water and a fork to press it together. However, once I put it into the pot of boiling water, it basically just comes apart after a minute or so, and spills out its contents into the pot

I also tried olive oil, which somebody suggested, but that also didn't stick (and somebody else said that would make it not stick...)

I finally tried using my mother's wonton sheets but those also didn't stick, using just a fork to press them.

Does anybody know what exactly I'm doing wrong? (A friend just suggested trying egg yolk, how exactly would I go about using that here?).

Thanks,
Victor

PS: Finally, as an aside, I actually botched up part of the recipe, I forgot to fry up the mushrooms before mixing it with the feta. I thought to fry it up after mixing it with the feta, but that kinda...well...you can guess..... Anyway, any other suggestions to salvage that mix?

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Old 12-16-2006, 11:04 PM   #2
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Welcome to DC, Victor.

When sealing ravioli or any other filled pasta, you have to be sure to get rid of any air pockets. If you don't the hot water will expand the air and cause the ravs to leak.

Also, brush the edges with some water or egg wash to ensure a tight seal. The fork isn't necessary.

As to the filling, you now have raw mushrooms mixed with cheese if I understand you correctly. There's a lot of water in a raw mushroom. You have to get rid of it before using it to fill the ravs. You may want to start over.

I have used wonton skins to make ravs before and they give you a very light product. They will also seal well.
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:06 PM   #3
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Victor, I really can't help you salvage the filling, but the ravioli will hold together if you cut them out with a ravioli cutter. It looks similar to a pizza cutter, just a smaller wheel that is notched, you press this along the edges FIRMLY, freeze your ravioli and don't defrost...Get the water boiling drop in ,cook to desired doneness. Once in a while I'll have one POP but not often..Good luck and remember to saute those mushrooms next time
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:12 PM   #4
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As kadesma mentioned, here is a link to the ravioli cutter.

Target : Ravioli Cutter
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Old 12-17-2006, 01:51 AM   #5
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Just made some sweet potato ravioli last weekend. Made the dough, however (which was easy by the way) so I haven't had experience with using ready-made lasagne noodles or wonton skins.

With a pastry brush, I brushed a bit of water on the joins (cutting edge) before folding the dough over on itself. I pressed that a bit with the side of my finger, and then cut with a lattice cutter (a wheel with a zig-zag cutting edge -- maybe the same, maybe slightly different than the 'ravioli cutter' above). Most of them held together fine, but not all. (By the way, Andy: how do you get the air out? The minute I fold the dough over I can't adjust anything, and I seem to always trap air. Should I let it out with a pin?!)

I made mine from a Marcella Hazan recipe. In re-reading it now I see she says the following about your problem: "The softness of dough that has just been rolled out makes it easier to shape, and its stickiness is necessary to produce a tight seal that will keep the stuffing from leaking during the cooking". Well, so she says ... my dough was perhaps more floury than hers because that's how I'm comfortable handling it, so the added water was necessary...
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Old 12-17-2006, 08:03 AM   #6
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AND, don't have the water boiling madly. Have it boil, turn down to a gentle simmer so the ravioli aren't being bounced around so much.
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Old 12-17-2006, 09:19 AM   #7
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I had the same troubles the first few times I made ravioli with wonton skins. Here is what I do now. I still get maybe 1/20~5% that fall apart.

1. Make sure the stuffing isn't too watery.
2. Don't overstuff!
3. Brush the edges of one side with egg before sealing.
4. Make sure the air is out so it won't expand and burst the ravioli.
4. Force the edges into one another either with a fork or ravioli cutter.
5. Allow the egg some time to work it's way into the two sides and bond.
6. Don't have the water at a rolling boil... a light boil w/sufficient volume.

The freezing trick works good, as it allows time for the dough to bond, and prevents too much flexing during the initial portion of cooking which can break the seal. I think a lot of restaurants use this method. It requires a lot of planning ahead though. Nice thing is, you can whip 'em out during the week like nothing.
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Old 12-17-2006, 10:38 AM   #8
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I've always made homemade ravioli using the commercial wonton or potsticker skins available in most supermarkets (usually in the produce department wherever they have the tofu & other vegetarian stuff that needs refrigeration). They come in both round & square shapes, & either one can be used just by placing the filling & folding it over or, for a larger end product, using one skin for the bottom & one for the top. They always turn out great & I've never had a problem with them coming apart.

1) While some finely ground meat/seafood fillings are left raw depending on the recipe, most vegetables are lightly sauteed first to get rid of excess moisture.

2) I seal them all the way around with either plain water or a little water & lightly beaten egg white - again, depending on the recipe. Some bulkier fillings seem to do better with the added "pasting" ability of egg white.

3) I'm careful not to overfill - a teaspoon to teaspoon & a half seems to be a safe limit.

4) As suggested by others, I bring the water (LOTS of it - at least 6-7 quarts or so) to a boil, & then reduce that to a brisk simmer so as not to have the pasta cooking furiously.

5) At the earliest possible moment when they "might" be done, I start taste testing so as not to accidentally overcook them. (Always make a few more than you'll need so you can taste a few.)

6) When they're done, instead of pouring them into a colander, I gently scoop them out as quickly as possible using one of those oriental "spider" strainer/scoops. A large slotted spoon works fine too.

7) I always serve them either laid on top of a small pool of sauce, or ladle sauce on top of them rather than tossing them with anything.

I'm sure everyone has methods just as good - the above is just what works for me.
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Old 12-17-2006, 10:40 AM   #9
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When using wonton skins, I place the filling onto the skin and moisten the sealing edges. Then I lift up the empty half and start folding it over. I press it onto the filling first, keeping the edges apart. Then I work the top part of the skin down onto the filling and into the area at the edge of the filling where bubbles can form. I work outwards towards the edges, pressing to seal.

It takes longer to read through the explanation than it does to do the process.
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:16 AM   #10
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I was at a store that makes fresh pasta and ravioli the other day, and they advise all their customers to cook the ravioli in simmering water so it doesn't come apart.
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