Sunday, November 1, 2015

Homemade Cheese Ravioli - Spelt Flour Version

Homemade pasta was the first complicated meal I made for someone other than myself. It was a traditional Lasagna Bolognese and since a rolling pin was not yet a part of my kitchen tool kit, I used a wine bottle with the label removed. A rousing success!

Maybe it was a result of that first success that homemade pasta has never intimidated me. Once you've made it well, it is such a pleasure and joy to make and offer to your loved ones. Since store bought ravioli is always made with wheat flour, I now make my own. Out of all the spelt products I have attempted, this was the easiest and least problematic, score!

Make sure your eggs are large since spelt will soak up lots of liquid; if your eggs are on the smaller side, feel free to add a third egg but you will probably end up adding some more flour.
Obviously the fillings for ravioli can vary as wide as your imagination. My raviolis in the past have ranged from beet and chevre, spinach ricotta, wild mushroom and chevre, and pumpkin (which is superb with a balsamic cream sauce!)

Below are instructing for making ravioli with and without a ravioli mold. I've had one like the picture to the right for 25 years and it has traveled far and wide with me through many moves and homes; it was one of my first kitchen tool investments and it has served me well!

Homemade Cheese Ravioli - Spelt Flour Version
(serves 2-3)

2 large eggs
2 cups spelt flour
2+ teaspoons milk

1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan/asiago cheese, shredded
1 egg

tomato sauce for serving
asiago for serving

Measure out flour onto a countertop or large cutting board. Make a well in the center; crack the eggs into the center and beat slightly and add milk. Slowly work flour into the eggs without them leaking out of the well of flour. Work all of the flour into a ball and begin to kneed it, adding a little more milk as necessary if it is dry. Kneed for 5-6 minutes until you have a smooth pliable ball of dough. Wrap it in a damp dish towel and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Combined all the ingredients for the filling and set aside.

Cut the ball of dough in half and roll out as thin as possible without ripping, at least 1/8 inch thick. Spelt noodle dough is wonderfully stretchy so stretch it gently as you roll to make it as thin as possible. Try to create a rectangle shape so as to use the dough most efficiently.  If you have a ravioli mold, drape the pasta sheet over it and press it accordingly. Drop filling in ravioli pockets, probably only a heaping teaspoon worth. Cover with the remaining sheet of pasta and press into mold as directed. Repeat with remaining dough and filling until pasta is used up.

If you don't have a mold, simply dot the edge of the pasta sheet with filling, leaving at least 1 inch border between each filling mound. Fold the pasta over the filling and press down around each ravioli to seal. Cut with a knife or fluted pastry wheel to separate. Then use the tines of the fork to press all around the edges of each ravioli to ensure they are sealed. Repeat until pasta is all used up.

Set ravioli aside to dry for at least 30 minutes on a parchment lined sheet pan or dish cloth lined counter. Cook immediately in boiling water and serve with tomato sauce and grated cheese.

Raviolis also freeze well. Freeze them for at least 5 hours on a parchment lined baking sheet. Then place in a freezer bag.


No comments: