Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Good Eats: Ravioli

Once you've mastered the fine art of pasta making, you can make some filled pastas. The two most famous are ravioli and tortellini. Essentially, they are the same food except for their shapes. Ravioli are easier to make. Here's what you do:

Roll out sheets of pasta through the pasta machine until the second-to-last thinness setting. Then, drop 1/2 teaspoonfuls of filling, about 1-2 inches apart, leaving another inch for the margin on each end.

Trace your wet fingers in squares around each mound of filling, as if you were moistening an envelope. Carefully fold the entire sheet over at once, gently patting out any air pockets. Cut the ravioli out, making sure there's a seal around each one.

Boil in plenty of salted water for 4-8 minutes. Taste to see if they're ready. Enjoy with tomato sauce or just melted butter and Parmigiano cheese!

For the filling: (BTW, you can use just about anything. DON'T be afraid to be creative. But whatever you use, remember you'll need egg to bind it all together)

Ricotta
1 1/2 lbs of fresh whole milk ricotta cheese
fistful of finely chopped parsley
2 tbs olive oil
3-4 chopped scallions
black pepper and salt (to taste)
1 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
1 extra large egg (beaten)

Combine all of the ingredient, mix until it comes together, and it's ready to go!

Roasted Red Pepper
Mix together one batch of the ricotta filling above, but leave the oil off until later.

Take 2 red Bell peppers and roast them over an open flame (a grill or gas stove works great--but watch it closely!) until the entire outside is charred. Turn the peppers often to get an even char.

Let the peppers cool a bit to handle them. Use paper towels or your hands to wipe the blackened skin right off. The flesh of the pepper should be tender, and some bits of charred skin is okay to leave on. Cut off the tops, and remove the seeds and core. Cut into strips, taking out any of that white rubbery membrane from the middle.

Blend the peppers, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a couple spoonfuls of olive oil until they are smooth (might take a couple minutes).

Add the pepper mixture from the blender into the ricotta--and viola!

Want to try tortellini? Watch this guy...

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