I got a bit adventurous today. I actually (all by myself), made.....Ravioli!
Last fall, I bought this Ravioli Form when I went shopping in an Amish Community. I have looked at this device over and over again, but today just decided to get it out and try it.
I made the dough from scratch. The directions were to place 3 cups of flour either on a board or in a bowl. I decided to play it safe and put it in a bowl. I made a well in the middle of the flour to accept the eggs.
Next, I placed 3 eggs (at room temperature) in the well.
I slowly began to incorporate the flour and the egg mixture together.
The mixture gets to the point that you have to begin to use your hands to knead the flour in. The recipe calls for up to 1/2 Cup of water if needed.
I put most of the water in and made this lovely ball of dough. Let the dough rest in a covered bowl for 30 minutes. If you push your finger into the dough, it should return relatively quickly after the 30 minute time period.
Slice the dough ball.
Begin using your pasta roller. Start at the widest setting and gradually reduce it down with each pass of the dough. Notice how I am catching the dough with the back of my hand. This helps prevent tearing. If you grasp it with fingers, there is a higher probability that the dough will get rips or tears.
Flour the metal part of the form very generously.
Although this sheet isn't 'lovely', it is functional. Cover the metal part of the form.
Take the plastic part of the form and gently press indentions into the dough. Remove the plastic tray.
Because there is a certain 3-year-old that will not eat meat at the moment, I decided to add Mozzarella Cheese. I decided to make it easy on me and cut string cheese sticks into small disks.
I put 2 small disks and a little spaghetti sauce into each indention.
Next I put a second sheet of pasta on the tip.
Use a Rolling Pin and roll in many directions across the top of the form. You can see the 'zig-zag' of the metal form emerge as you use the rolling pin.
Again, not lovely but functional. Turn the form over. If you floured the metal form well, the Ravioli's should fall out. You may have to coax a few though.
Put the fresh Ravioli pouches into boiling water. When they float, they are finished.
Add the sauce, garnish with Parmesan Cheese ( I grated it myself!), and add a sprig of Parsley if you like (it was straight out of my herb garden!).
What was the verdict? Everyone from the 3-year-old to the Silver Fox liked it. The Silver Fox said he couldn't taste the meat.....I had to inform him that there wasn't any this time. I will try different fillings in the future.
Take Home Message:
- This device costs less than going out to dinner to a sit-down restaurant. It is called a Grandpa Dante's Ravioli Form. This one costs just under $15.00.
- I literally made this entire dish out of food storage (with the exception being the Mozzarella Cheese. However, I often have this type of cheese in my freezer, so it could have been totally made from food storage staples).
- I need to practice this again. I know I can get faster each time I do this.
- I can put in a variety of fillings. If you have meat left over from a meal, dice it into small pieces and combine it with cheese or sauce. That way, one meal help make a second meal.
- It gives my family a variety. I can make pasta noodles, but the Ravioli is a nice change.
- It costs very little to make this pasta.