Ricotta and Herb Ravioli with Parmesan Broth

It hot! I was wondering what plate of food personifies summer to me and there is a few, gazpacho springs to mind (I will share my friends recipe with you soon – his gazpacho is renowned), broad beans, peas and feta, lemon tart (could possibly add this to every season) and ricotta and fresh herbs. Good quality ricotta is easy to come around in Cape Town and fresh herbs are just as easy. I have yet to find Tarragon, Chervil and Marjoram in Cape Town, but the other herbs are very aromatic and plentiful.

It’s been a while since I have made fresh pasta and I was looking forward to making some ravioli filled with fresh ricotta and herbs. Pasta making is not difficult if you have a machine and I am lucky enough to have had my machine for over 10years now. The noble steed needed some olive oil to oil the joints as one could hear me making pasta from the road!

I love making pasta by hand and there is not a big time difference between using a Magimix, Kitchenaid (hook) or making pasta by hand. For this recipe the Magi was out so I opt for the machine.

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The texture of the dough is quite important, you would like the dough to feel firm, but pliable and not dry but not wet as the dough will softens once rested.

Thank to Wild Organics the yolks of my little free-range eggs were bright orange thus providing a lovely yellow pasta. Did you know in Italy the chickens are fed on carrots in order to give the yolks the orange colour. Brilliant!

Fresh Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 250g OO flour
  • 2 free-range or organic eggs (medium)
  • 3 egg yolks (medium)
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 25g semolina flour for dusting

Method:

  1. In your food process, sift the flour and salt and add the eggs.
  2. Pulse till mixture comes together.
  3. You are looking for wet sand, take some to the crumbs into your hand, if they come together easily when pressed – the dough is ready.
  4. Dust your work surface with semolina flour.
  5. Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes until soft and velvety
  6. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 1 hour.

To make the pasta into sheets it is best to use a pasta machine. Dust the surface around the machine with semolina four. Cut the dough ball in half. Keep the piece you are not using well wrapped in cling film. Set the rollers on the widest setting, pass the first ball dough through to form a thick sheet, fold the sheet into 3 to form a thick, short piece, then turn it around and put it through again. After 10 such fold, the pasta should feel wonderfully silky. Only then reduce the settings on the machine, one by one, passing the dough through each time to form a longer, thinner sheet until you reach the setting before last as I like my ravioli to have some texture. If you prefer a paper thin ravioli roll to the last setting.

Dust a large tray with flour, set aside. Roll out the pasta into long sheets using two cookie cutters one bigger than the the other press the circles out of the larger round, place a small teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the bigger round, lightly dip your finger in some water and brush the sides, place another (similar size) pasta round on top of the filled ravioli and press round the filling taking care not to create air bubbles. Cut the filled ravioli with the smaller round, this will cut and seal the ravioli and place on the large dusted tray making sure the ravioli do not touch each other.

At this point the ravioli could be left in the fridge for 24 hours or frozen. I place frozen individual ravioli in a marked freezer bag – very handy!

Cook the ravioli in boiling salter water for about 4 minutes. Drain and serve with broth, lots of pecorino and a generous drizzle of good olive oil.

 

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