MAKING RAVIOLI & PASTA AT SUSIE’S HOUSE – MAY 21, 2008
This recipe makes an enormous amount of ravioli (we counted 113, or 8.5 dozen), plus enough pasta dough left over to make a few pounds of fettucini and sphaghetti. It also took us three about 5 hours to complete.
Ricotta – about 4 lbs. – drained (very important to drain it!)
Mozzarella – about 1 lb.
Lemon Rind – from about 2 lemons
Spinach – thawed from frozen, all water squeezed out & chopped fine – 1 pkg.
Eggs – about 5
Black pepper – a few dashes
(Combine all in a bowl & mix well; set aside)
Pasta Machine – or a rolling pin & a lot of muscles & energy
Flour – about 12 C.
Eggs – room temperature – 18 yolks AND 18 whole eggs
Olive Oil – to coat pasta to prevent drying
(If you wanted to make a “normal amount” – you should divide this recipe by 3)
TO MAKE THE PASTA SHEETS:
Place four pounds of flour in a large bowl(s) or on a clean table & make a well in the middle
Add the 6 egg yolks one by one into the well & mix with your hand
Begin kneading to form a ball.
Add up to 6 extra whole eggs (yolk & white) until you can make a solid ball of dough.
Knead well until smooth (more or less) – about 5 minutes
Add extra flour only if needed
After kneading, cut ball into 4 to 8 pieces & oil lightly. Put back into the clean bowl & let rest about 20 min. – cover lightly
You can refrigerate this overnight at this point if you wish.
Set up pasta machine & set to the largest opening – on my machine that was #7.
Take one of the pieces of pasta & knead it again a little.
You may need a little flour on the surface or to cut the piece down even smaller to work with.
Flatten the piece slightly & elongate in order for it to be fed into the machine.
Progressively feed pasta dough into the machine – first through the largest opening several times & then down a size until you reach a very thin, almost see-through state (That was #3 on my machine)
You should now have a very long rectangular shape – cut off ends to even it out.
Begin placing about 1 large tablespoon of filling mixture slightly to one side of the dough as you are going to fold over the piece onto itself – allow for about a ½ inch margin at the edges and about 2 inches between each blob of cheese.
At this point, I took my fingers & dipped them in water & lightly moistened the area around the cheese blob where the dough will come in contact with each other.
Fold the dough down over the cheese blobs & press the dough down in place to seal all around each one.
Cut between each raviolo with a knife to separate.
Take a fork & with the tines press hard all around the 3 sides of the raviolo where the cheese could escape – sort of like you would when finishing a pie crust.
Susie recommended pricking the ravioli with the fork twice – as she said she had done this last time & none of her ravioli opened up during boiling.
Place each raviolo on a wax paper covered cookie sheet that has been dusted with flour & allow to “dry out” a bit, turning them over periodically.
Here is where we had a bit of a disagreement. Susie usually places the cookie trays into the refrigerator during this time, but we found that the ravioli began to stick to the wax paper.
Renae & I felt that we could probably just skip that stage & place the cookie trays directly into the freezer so as to harden each raviolo & then transfer them over into Ziploc bags until they are ready to be used.
Or, you could just let them cook them at this point if you like.
TIP: Use the little ends that you cut off from the dough to pass through the pasta machine & make little thin egg noodles for soups & not waste anything.
ANOTHER TIP: You could just use these sheets of pasta to make lasagna or cannelloni with by slicing them with a knife into the desired size.
MAKING FETTUCINE OR SPAGHETTINI WITH THE PASTA MACHINE:
Continue to make the long sheets of pasta as you did for the ravioli.
Very lightly flour each sheet & suspend from a clean broomstick suspended between two chair backs in order to let the pasta dry out slightly.
Flip each one after a while for even drying.
Obviously, due to the amount of moisture in the air & the dough the time this will take will vary, but we found about 20 minutes was sufficient.
Be careful not to let it dry out too much or it will be difficult to pass through the machine – you’ll just have to experiment a little here.
Place the crank into the whole next to the desired shape you want: fettucine (larger strips) or spaghettini (very thin ones)
Feed the sheet of dough through the machine with one hand as you crank with the other – it helps to have someone there “catching” the pasta as it comes out the other side (I found pulling slightly helped too)
As the pasta comes out, separate each one from one another (they sometimes stick) & place on wax paper in a low-sided cardboard box or cookie sheet.
Toss the pieces around so they will dry out without fusing together – so don’t place too much in one place or too thickly.
Put the boxes somewhere to dry where they will not be disturbed. You could place a fan on them to speed up the process if you like.
Don’t cover the pasta & be sure to turn it a few times to dry evenly. Don’t cover up the pasta when storing (this may be an old wife’s tale because you should be logically able to once it is completely dried out) – or just lightly cover with a loose sheet of plastic wrap or a clean cloth.
"I made some of the ravioli last night. They came out well. I needed to cook them a bit longer than when
they surfaced. Look for the color change in the dough. I couldn't taste that much lemon in mine, but everyone has different tastes. I only think we had problems with sticking because they didn't air out well. I didn't think stacking them would be that much of a problem, but it did reduce the air circulation. "