Originally Posted by callmaker60
I went down one more position on my pasta machine, and that fixed my problem.
This should help to perfect the tecnique:
2 cups white flour
3 medium eggs
1 TBS olive oil
¼ tsp salt (optional)
¼ cup extra flour for working the dough.
Put all ingredients into the food processor in the order given and process quickly until a ball forms (about 30 seconds), and it clings away cleanly from the sides of the container.
If it appears too sticky, remove the top and sprinkle one tablespoon of flour. Process briefly until it clings away from the sides. If it appears too dry and does not form a ball, you may need to add a little water, a tablespoon at a time. You should not need more than one or two tablespoons of water, or one or two tablespoons of flour. Wrap in plastic and store in the refrigerator until needed. If you plan to use it right away, let it rest for fifteen minutes covered with a kitchen towel.
Note: Do not knead the pasta, contrary to bread, egg pasta works better if it is a rather stiff mass. It will be easier to handle after the gluten has relaxed. You can freeze unused pasta, it will get slightly darker in color, but nothing to worry about, its just the oxidation process.
Technique for making ravioli
Please do not let the length of the instructions discourage you from trying. Remember that once you have prepared the ravioli you can keep them frozen for a long time.
Make a fresh batch of egg pasta or take a batch of pasta out of the refrigerator. Keep it wrapped until ready to use. Also, make a batch of stuffing.
Step 1. Get familiar with your pasta machine. Some machines have a separate noodle attachment and some have the noodle attachment as one whole piece.
Set up the pasta machine on widest setting (# 1), that is the setting that will produce the thickest pasta strip. The higher the number, the thinner the pasta will be.
Some pasta machines go up to # 9 and some to # 7. Whatever settings you use try to roll out the thinnest possible strip; usually the next to last setting is best. If you are using a motor in place of the handle, you do not need to secure the machine with the clamp, but you need to keep the noodle attachment in place; it gives the machine better stability.
Step 2. Generously flour your table/surface.
-Cut about ½ or ⅓ from your batch of pasta; flatten it to a thickness of about ¼ inch. Rub flour on to it and dust off excess. Set the knob of the pasta machine at number one and roll the flattened pasta piece. Place the pasta strip on your counter, rub additional flour into it and turn the knob to number two. Re-roll the pasta strip, continuing to turn the knob to higher numbers and rubbing additional flour into the pasta as needed to achieve a thin pasta strip. If it starts getting sticky, lay the strips on your surface and run your fingers under the rollers to remove the sticky particles. Rub more flour into your pasta strips, and run it again. Repeat until the pasta no longer sticks to the rollers. The pasta machine will allow rolling out pasta to a maximum width of about 5 ½ inches. You may get the strips of pasta slightly narrower; that is fine as long as they are not less than 3.1/2 wide. Continue to the next to the last setting. At this point you may have several strips of pasta lying on your working top ready for the final assembly. The length of the pasta can vary. Beginners can start with shorter, more manageable strips. Remember to keep the work surface fully floured to prevent the pasta from sticking. Do not flour the pasta surface facing you.
Step 3 Remove filling from refrigerator and start laying one teaspoon of filling in the middle of the pasta strips about one inch apart.
Fold over, and seal the space in between by pressing with your index and middle fingers. Then seal the front. Trim with ravioli wheel. Place ravioli on a rack or plastic tray and freeze immediately.
1) Keep pasta trimmings wrapped in plastic, separate from the fresh batch. Once all the fresh pasta has been used up, use all the
trimmings and roll more pasta strips. Repeat putting all the scraps of pasta together and pulling more strips until there is no more pasta or no more filling.
Sometimes the pasta strips dry out and it becomes almost impossible to seal them. In this case, you might want to use a squirt bottle and very gently spray some water on the strips.
2) Start out with short strips of pasta, until you get experience and speed. Again, if the rollers of the pasta machine get sticky, simply rub your fingers underneath the rollers, removing the little particles attached to the rollers. Most pasta machine makers will provide instructions how to maintain and clean it.
Step 4 -Once the ravioli are well frozen, pack them in zip-lock bags until ready to use. When needed, start a pot of boiling water, add a cube of bouillon or a little meat stock and boil gently until they become lighter in color and come up to the surface (about 6 to 8 minutes). It is best to use a wide casserole. Remove with a large slotted spoon onto a serving platter.
My personal preference is to use the brown butter sauce. Other sauces will also do.
The true pride of ravioli making is that you should be able to see the filling through the egg pasta once it is cooked. With time and practice, you will be able to roll out paper-thin pasta with no effort at all.
Here are a few tips that will help you to work with fresh pasta:
If your kitchen is very dry, you will have to work fast to avoid drying out of the pasta. However if you are a novice at pasta making, speed is not the best option. I recommend using smaller quantities of pasta and help to moisturize the air by having a pot of hot water simmering on the stovetop. Another option is to have a squirt water bottle handy and just before you fold the pasta over, very quickly give it a squirt. It is most important that the edges are well sealed, otherwise the ravioli will open when you cook them. If your kitchen is very humid, aim a fan directly at your working table, during the pasta preparation.