Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mushroom ravioli

Fun! Fun! Fun times it is to make your own ravioli! Mine are largely inspired from this original recipe.

INGREDIENTS (for the filling, 2-3 people)
- 1 pack dried porcini mushrooms (1/2 ounce)
- 4 oz fresh cremini mushrooms (portobello or ceps would work really well too), chopped finely
- 1 tbsp evoo
- 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 small cloves of garlic, chopped finely (if you don't like chunks of garlic, you can grate it)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese (whole milk will make a silkier, creamier filling than low-fat)

- cover the dried porcini in boiling water and let soak until soft (about 10-15 minutes should be enough).
- drain the soaking liquid and either discard, or reserve (if you want to use it in a sauce for example).
- squeeze out any residual liquid from the mushrooms (otherwise the filling will be too moist and the resulting ravioli will be soggy and won't hold their shape).
- finely chop the reconstituted porcini and reserve.
- in a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high and saute the fresh cremini for a few minutes. They will release a lot of moisture.
- let the moisture evaporate, but keep an eye on the skillet so the mushrooms don't burn!
- add the porcini, parsley, garlicsalt and pepper and cook for another minute. Reserve in a bowl.
- when the mushroom mixture is cool, mix in the egg yolk and the ricotta. 
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

- for information on how to make and roll your fresh pasta dough, I refer you to my AP flour recipe or my semolina recipe :) a little self-promotion can't hurt ;)

- I use two different methods to make the ravioli: (1) with a ravioli tray and (2) with ravioli stamps. The ones I use are very similar to those here, here and here.
The ravioli tray
- Lay a sheet of pasta on the heavily (really heavily) floured tray, and lightly press in each well (be careful not to pierce the dough with sharp nails!).
- Scoop some filling into each well, about the size of a large pea. If you put too much, it will be a hot mess when you try to roll the top pasta sheet, believe me!
Note: I put WAY too much in this photo, but you get the idea.
- Lay another pasta sheet on top.
- Carefully seal the two pasta sheets together by applying pressure with a rolling pin.
- Ta-da!!!
The ravioli stamps:
- Lay a sheet of pasta on a floured flat surface.
- Put small spoonfuls of filling on the pasta sheet, leaving about an inch between each. 
- Wet the pasta sheet with your finger or a small brush and place a second sheet of pasta on top of the filling. Carefully press with your fingers and try to chase any air trapped inside the ravioli.
Note: if there is too much air inside a ravioli, it will explode when you cook it and the filling will just disperse in the water.
- Using a ravioli stamp, just cut out any shape you want. 
- You can either cook your fresh ravioli right away in a large pot of boiling water (about 2-3 minutes, or until they float back to the surface), or freeze the ravioli on a flat tray. When they are hardened enough, you can put the pasta in a container, or bag, and keep them in the freezer until ready to use :)
- Have fun!!!

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