Thursday, July 14, 2011

Daring Cooks: My Noodle Hands

Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks' July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. She provided us with recipes for SpƤtzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!

I loved this challenge, but I have already done it. I love making pasta, and I got a hand roller for Christmas this past year, so this is how I make pasta (although I do sometimes use the food processor to make the dough). So I decided to add a personal challenge to this: ravioli. I have wanted to make ravioli for some time, this is actually a second attempt at it. The taste great and texture came out great, and these came out a lot better than the first attempt. However, I'm not going to put this in the total win column yet, because as you can see, they are not so pretty. They tend to come out very large and in a variety of shapes and sizes. But they are delicious, and one day they will be beautiful too. I did learn something very important from this challenge. It is MANDATORY to let the dough rest. It makes it so much easier to work with! I cannot even believe the difference. The dough was so beautiful (before I mangled it into ravoli that is), I am confident that had I just done fetticuni it would have come out looking so incredible (but less cheesey, tradeoffs). Here is my methodology and recipe for this awesome challenge!


Pasta Dough:
2 cups of unbleached AP flour
1/2 tsp of salt
3 eggs
1 tbsp of water (varies)
Semolina flour, for dusting

Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl and form into a dome, make a hole in the center. Crack eggs into the hole. Slowly mix the flour into the eggs, until flour is incorporated and a sticky dough forms, add water as needed to form dough. Knead the dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Roll the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap, let the dough rest for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours. Assemble your pasta roller. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Keep the pieces you aren't using covered with plastic wrap. Flatten out a piece of the dough using a rolling pin until it is thin enough to go through the pasta machine. Lightly flour dough with semolina and run through the machine on the 0 setting, then fold the dough in half and run through again. Repeat until dough is extra smooth, about 9 times, ending so that the dough is in a fairly uniform rectangle. Change the setting to 1 and run the dough through. Run the dough through each setting until 7. Lay the rolled dough on a paper towel and cover with a damp paper towel. Be careful not to let the dough touch itself or the other pieces because it is very sticky. Repeat with remaining dough.


Filling:
1 cup of part skim riccotta cheese
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of mozzerella cheese, shredded
1 egg

Mix together the cheeses and salt. Beat in the egg. To assemble ravoli, Take one sheet of pasta at a time and cut it in half. Along one sheet drop cheese by heaping teaspoon, about 1 inch apart, (I did about 5-6 per sheet). Place the other half of the sheet on top and press edges. Using a knife or a pizza roller, cut inbetween the cheese. Press the edges to seal. Repeat with remaining sheets. Cook the ravoli in boiling water until they float to the top, about 5-6 minutes.


Tomato Broth Sauce:
1 can of italian style plum tomatoes
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
3 cloves of garlic
1 handful of fresh basil
Any leftover of the riccotta mixture, (I had about 1 tbsp)
Salt, pepper
Extra Virgin Olive oil, for drizzling

In a large skillet over high heat, heat the tomatoes and their juices. Break up tomatoes using a wooden spoon. Add the sauce. Dice the garlic and basil and add to sauce. Add any leftover cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over cooked ravoli. Drizzle ravoli with olive oil before serving.

Happy Eating.


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11 comments:

  1. This looks great! I recently made my own pasta but this looks restaurant quality! Yum!

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  2. I love your ravioli. I had every intention of trying it, but chickened out at the last minute. Great job!

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  3. How great that you were able to turn the familiar into a challenge. I think you ravioli look delicious! Great job!!

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  4. Great job! I think your ravioli looks great!!

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  5. Great job on the ravioli! I've done it before, and its not easy! Way to go!!
    www.cookinformycaptain.blogspot.com

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  6. I've been making homemade pasta lately for the first time. I don't think I can go back to dry despite its major convenience, lol.

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  7. This looks so light and fresh and delicious. I made fresh pasta for the first time for this challenge. I think I'll try my hand at ravioli next.

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  8. What a great job! I love to make my own pasta...I will have to try to make ravioli soon...looks delicious! :D

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  9. This looks so delicious,love it! :)

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  10. It's great that you took something you were comfortable with (pasta making) and kicked it up a notch! I think your ravioli turned out great - different sizes makes them 'rustic'. :)

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  11. made sourdough versions before. so much work, but so satisfying (:

    http://mummyicancook.blogspot.com/2011/01/pumpkin-ravioli-with-basil-browned.html

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