Friday, November 4, 2011

4 Cheese and Spinach Ravioli

This is my second vegetarian meal for the week (unless you count the second night of pizza then it was 3 vegetarian meals for the me).  I am not surprised that I fell back on Italian food to help me in my time of need.  When I was trying to think of another vegetarian dish, of course, I came up with some kind of pasta.  I have mentioned previously that I have been seperated from a lot of my kitchen tools and recently reunited with them.  Since being reunited, I have been planning to use my ravioli maker.  Once I started thinking about pasta tonight, it didn't take long for my mind to wander right on over to ravioli.  My grandfather was Italian and when I was young we used to have homemade ravioli every Thanksgiving.  This is my take on what homemade ravioli should be (if we are talking about meatless, anyway).

4 Cheese and Spinach Ravioli
1 recipe Pasta
1/2 cup cottage or ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese (add an extra 1/4 cup if you like it extra cheesy)
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/8-1/4 cup frozen spinach
2 T bread crumbs

Prepare past dough and cover and let rest.  Mix remaining ingredients together.  You can use your food processor or do it by hand.

Either roll dough out into sheets by hand, or using pasta maker.  Make sure it's thin enough.  Using my pasta maker, the final setting was 6-7.  You should be able to see through it if you put something of color underneath (you should be able to see the spinach through the pasta if it's thin enough.)

Ravioli maker:

Sprinkle metal of ravioli maker with flour.  Once dough is rolled out place a sheet of dough on metal part of ravioli maker
push plastic piece down on top of metal to make wells in dough.
Remove plastic piece
Add 1-2 tsp filling in each well
brush around all edges with water
Place another sheet of dough on top.  Seal with rolling pin.  It works best if you first push the rolling pin down on all areas that should be sealed.  (on each squiggly line that goes across)  Push down on all sealing areas starting with the middle and working out. Don't forget the one that goes down the center horizontally.
then, with rolling pin at an angle, go around outer edges
remove excess and dump ravioli onto flour dusted wax paper
It's harder to tell in the picture, but see the spinach?

Repeat with remaining ravioli.  You can re-roll scraps if there isn't too much of the filling on them.   If the seams aren't completely cut, let the ravioli sit about 10 minutes and the carefully separate.  With this size maker, the recipe yielded 36-48 ravioli.

By hand instructions:  After dough is rolled thin enough to see through and uniform, use a square or round cookie cutter to cut dough.  Place filling in the middle (depending on the size of the cutter) and brush edges with water
you could probably get your cuts a little closer together than that, what was I doing?!
Place another piece of dough on top and seal edges with your fingers or a fork.

Bring 4 quarts of salted water to boil.  Using wax paper, dump ravioli into boiling water.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until done.  (Even if the water isn't boiling the whole time they are in there, they still might be done in 5 minutes.)  Test one by cutting it open.

Serve with Marinara Sauce

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