I love pasta. All kinds, filled, short shapes, long shapes, rustic, fancy. All of it. The sad part is that you really can’t get good classic pasta in Hawaii. There are tons of good noodles but not pasta. None of those soul satisfying, slurp up and get tomato sauce all over your shirt, chewy pillows of goodness. Since I require that on a regular basis, I end up making a lot of pasta. This time, I wanted filled pasta. I also wanted to keep my trend of making foods I can have prepared for later cooking in my freezer. Ravioli fit the bill perfectly.
A lot of people get intimidated by filled pastas. There is a hype about it anywhere you look with food. Making the perfect ravioli, tortellini, etc is made to seem like an insurmountable task reserved for only the best of culinary minds. TOTALLY not the case! It is just pasta folded over to cover up some yummy filling for crying out loud. There are only two things you need to remember so your ravioli look just as wonderful when they come out of the boiling water as when they go in:
- Make sure to remove all the air bubbles from around the filling when you are closing the pasta. If you don’t, the pasta will float up immediately and then burst, leaving you with a big pot of boiling water and cheese bits – not as appealing.
- Make sure your seal is tight. Press it between your fingers if you need to when you first try. It is better to have a slightly squished ravioli than one that falls about in the water. As you get more familiar with the process, you won’t need to do that because you will have become a master at sealing just with a little egg wash and pressure.
- pasta dough, rolled into large sheets (1 recipe)
- 1 ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup chopped basil
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley
- 2 large clove garlic, crushed
- ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
- pinch lemon zest
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- egg wash, for sealing
- Mix all the ingredients except the pasta dough and egg wash together in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper
- Lay out sheets of dough and place filling, in 1 tbsp drops, leaving approximately ½ to ¾ of an inch of space on all sides (see photo)
- Brush the egg wash (1 egg beaten with a small amount of water) between the filling; fold the dough over and press the pasta to seal, make sure to push all the air out of the middle to keep the ravioli from bursting when you cook it
- Cut the pasta apart; dust with flour to keep from sticking to your cutting board or sheet pan; cook or freeze immediately; cook in boiling water until the pasta is white