This recipe requires that you plan, so look it over before you dive right in. There'll be cheesemaking and pasta dough resting in the process :) I make a really rustic ravioli. They come out big and uniquely shaped. I don't use any fancy cutters, but you can! Here is my rustic take on one of my favourite italian inventions EVER.
You will need a pasta roller for this pasta. I am really happy to have my kitchenaid mixer with the pasta roller attachment to do the even turning it takes for this pasta sheet that I like to make quite fine/thin. It needs to roll evenly so the pasta sheet doesn't tear from uneven movements at the finer roller setting.
The reason I title this recipe with the wheat species name is that there really is a major difference for health (for the planet and for your body). For your body; it is a natural heritage variety that hasn't been GMO'd or industrialized. If you have gluten sensitivity this wheat might work for you. For the planet; it is a natural plant that works with natural ecology and doesn't require engineered pesticides and fertilizers. Doesn't all this sound like a good reason to switch out all the bags of flour in your pantry?! I think so!
*Recipe makes 36 large ravioli, can feed 6 easily :)
Here are the ingredients for the pasta dough, which couldn't be simpler:
2 cups sifted organic Red Fife wheat flour (Use organic sifted wheat flour if you can't find this specific variety)
4 medium organic free range eggs
1 or 2 tbsp water, at the ready
a cup or two of flour to dust all surfaces - counter, pasta roller, parchment paper
1 Batch of my Grass Fed Ricotta (recipe here) *with some added whey.
handful of roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
To cook and finish:
1/4 cup of butter
handful of sea salt (for pasta water)
1 cup good quality lemon infused olive oil (available at italian markets or, made by micro plane grating the zest of 2 lemons into your favourite olive oil)
Generous piece of parmesan at table for grating over the ravioli as one wishes.
You will also need 3 cookie sheets lined with parchment, and a slotted spoon.
First make your filling, by mixing all the filling ingredients together. Set aside.
Get a large pasta pot on the stove at medium-high heat. Salt your water. I don't want to give you a quantity. I want to give you a rule of thumb. Pasta water should always taste like the sea. Use your judgement! It'll be more than you thought :)
Make a mound with your flour, then create a bowl in the centre to crack your eggs into (so they have a bit of a wall to contain them). Use a fork or your fingers to break up the eggs, and continue to mix them into the flour until the mixture has come together. If it feels dry, as in, there are still dry bits of flour, then slowly add in a little water until it starts to feel like the consistency of say, warmed up silly putty, but a little more maleable. Keep kneeding the dough for around 8 or 9 minutes. Wrap your dough ball and place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This helps the gluten develop for good elasticity.
After your dough has rested in the fridge for the necessary time, take it out of the fridge for a half hour or so to let it warm back up to room temperature. Cut the dough ball in half. Flour 3 feet of your kitchen counter before you begin, so you can transfer your long pasta sheets there without any mishaps (sticking and tearing). Kneed each half into 5 inch by 6 or 7 inch rough ovals or rectangles. Lay on counter and generously crack pepper onto dough with a pepper mill. Like you would pepper a steak. Press the pepper into the dough. Both sides. If you are using a kitchenaid, roll out your dough, starting at the first setting, then working your way to the seventh setting.
(team work really helps, and kisses, and wine)
Once you have run dough through 7th setting or if on different roller, at its finest setting, cut in half and lay on to your floured surface. At this stage don't delay. Cut off the unsquared ends to make equal length rectangles. Place side-by-side on counter, so they will be easy to put together at next step. Now, at 2 1/2 inch distances place 1/2 Tbsp dollops of ricotta mixture along the entire length of ONLY one of the pasta sheets (the other will be your lid). Make two rows. Keep the pace because you don't want the dough to dry out. It won't stick together as well, once its dried out.
Evenly, and in one pass, so as to not disturb the filling mounds much, lay over the second sheet of dough. Mindfully stretch the dough across the top to get some fairly even edge match. Then begin to press firmly down between each ravioli mound. Get up close to the filling. The moisture of the filling will help create a bond. Now cut at the mid point between all the mounds to create your ravioli! Place on your floured, parchment lined cookie sheets. They are ready for the pasta water (or freezer if you are going that route). Repeat this process for your second ball of dough. You will end up with around 36 ravioli pieces.
If the pasta water is at a rolling boil, turn it down. So its just at boiling. The roll could damage the ravioli. Place the ravioli in the water gently, I would say do half (that'll be around 15-17 pieces) at a time. It will only take 2 or 3 minutes so don't drift off to something else! Using a slotted spoon remove the ravioli to a platter. Repeat for the second batch.
(This photo is from the pop up kitchen at a magical evening we had at TH Wines for The Market Cook Equinox Dinner )
Warm up a pan to medium heat, adding a tablespoon of butter at a time, as you sauté the ravioli to slightly browned. Place the sautéed ravioli onto serving platters, then drizzle your lemon olive oil over the platters. Give it all a nice skiff of finely grated parmesan. Serve family style at your table, with additional parmesan. Enjoy!
Some images from our Equinox Dinner Feast