If you come around often, thank you! And that means you probably know how much I love using leftovers for a completely different meal. Remember the Vegetable Po Bo Sandwich from last week? (Was that last week?) Well, this ravioli is a reincarnation of that sandwich.
My goal this week is to catch up on all the deliciously delectable posts I have for you. That on top of the cooking that I'm actually doing this week makes for some great food! This ravioli was made the day after the sammies.
I am sure we're all busy so why not make up a large batch of something and use it for several meals? It works for our family and seriously satisfies my need to be really awesomely creative in a short period of time with what we have.
Also, I love homemade pasta. It's my new obsession and I'm pretty sure that I will be amazing (well, even more amazing) at it here pretty soon. This will be just in time for Italy; so I can go and 'talk pasta' with the chefs. Ha!
Here's the thing about pasta: Now that I make it with a fair amount of regularity, and now that I am comfortable working with it, I have a really hard time buying it. I feel this way about most things I can make on my own... why buy it when mine is just better and cheaper and 'funner'?
So use this recipe as you like: Either make the Po Boy Sandwiches and use the extra filling to make these little darlings as I have described, or make the ravioli and fill it with what you have. Love it.
For the pasta:
2 cups semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup warm water
2-3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the filling:
OR other filling of your choice
For the sauce:
2 small shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
5 medium vine ripened tomatoes, chopped rough
Salt and pepper
5-7 fresh basil leaves, julienned
In a bowl, or your Kitchenaid, mix the flour and salt together. With the Kitchenaid on medium, stream in water, starting with the 1/2 cup. Then add 2 Tablespoons olive oil and look at your dough. It will still be a bit crumbly but coming together.
Stream in the additional 1/3 cup water then stream in another Tablespoon olive oil, if your dough looks like it needs it.
When dough is basically together, turn it out on a pastry mat or floured surface and knead for 5 to 8 minutes until you have a smooth elastic ball of dough.
Place dough ball in a bowl, drizzle with a snitch of olive oil, cover and let rest for about 20 minutes.
For your sauce: It needs to cook down so get it started while your dough is resting.
In a pot, heat a little extra virgin olive oil then add the shallots and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes then add your chopped tomatoes and salt and pepper.
Cover and reduce heat to low/med and let it reduce. Note: I did not blanch the tomatoes to remove their skin. I don't mind the tomato skin when it is reduced down AND there are so many nutrients in the skin, I hate to waste.
Let cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occassionally. After about 20 minutes, taste to ensure proper salt and pepper usage. If you need to add more, now is the time.
Aadd the fresh basil, stir and let continue to cook on low. At this point, you can let it simmer on low, stirring occassionally, while you work on your pasta.
After your 20 minutes are up, break your dough ball into four even pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the others in the bowl and covered so they don't dry out.
Flatten your first piece then fold in half until you get the right length for your pasta roller. Flatten the dough to about 1/2 inch thick.
Turn your pasta roller on, first ensuring you are using the right attachment... for my Kitchenaid, I put it on the lowest speed setting. Pop the dough in and watch the pasta come out.
Once it is completely through, fold up and send it through again. Do this two or three times, each time folding and molding to the right 'strip' shape.
After two or three times, reduce the thickness setting down a couple notches. Not the thinnest setting, but one up. Run your pasta through, creating a long, thin strip.
Lay strip down on the counter, cut it in half then slice it into about 3 inch squares. Make sure you have an even number, since half will be the 'bottom' and half will be the 'top' of your ravioli.
In the center of each of your 'bottom' pieces, spoon a little of your filling then, using water, line the dough that is still showing and top with your 'top' piece and seal.
Note: to seal, make sure you are removing all air out of the 'filling pocket'. If you have air in the filling pocket it will cause the ravioli to burst open when you boil it. I put each piece in the palm of my hand and pressed everything down.
Repeat for all dough and filling, making sure you keep your fresh ravioli covered until you are ready to cook. Note: you can also freeze it! If you would like to do that, line them on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. Once frozen, remove, bag and return to the freezer.
To cook your pasta: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop ravioli in one by one. I ended up cooking about six at a time. They don't take long to cook; about 3 minutes. You will know they are done when they float to the top.
Remove with a slotted spoon, place in a bowl or strainer and repeat with all ravioli.
Plate anywhere from 4 to 8 ravioli, depending on your appetite then top with a nice serving of your fresh tomato sauce.
Garnish with a little more fresh basil and serve.
Homemade pasta: far from perfect and just the way I like it! It is just so much better than store bought. And really it's super easy. I promise it's worth the time and soon you won't want to buy store pasta anymore either.