Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sausage and Ricotta Ravioli

I decided to give homemade ravioli a try again. Since I don't have a pasta machine, the easy Carpi pasta is more appetizing to me because I only need two ingredients: flour and hot water. The trick to this pasta is to roll out pretty thin and to work quickly because the pasta tends to dry out fast. Anyhoo, I created this recipe and it was delish! I used homemade meat sauce and it only made the meal more fabulous. Thick, sliced garlic bread is a must for this dish.

INGREDIENTS (Makes about 24 ravioli)

  • 1/4 lb. bulk Italian sausage
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup very hot water, or more or less depending on the humidity
  • 3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup pre-cooked mini sausage meatballs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Homemade meat sauce or your favorite jarred pasta sauce

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Form mini meatballs with the bulk sausage, about the size of a pearl. You'll get about 40 to 50 mini-meatballs. Place them in an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes, then turn meatballs over and bake another 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool and set aside in refrigerator.

For the dough: In a large bowl combine the flour and the water; I used 1 cup + 2 tablespoons hot water because it was 72 degrees with 7% humidity here in San Diego. If you're in a very humid area, you may want to use slightly less than a cup. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine into a large ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.

For the filling: Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and gently stir to combine.

To form the ravioli, cut the dough into 4 evenly sized pieces. The dough should be slightly sticky. Add extra flour as necessary for rolling, but use only a little as necessary. Form each piece into a 2 by 6-inch rectangle. Recover the dough with the plastic wrap.

Lightly dust the work surface and a rolling pin. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll the dough into a 4 by 15-inch rectangle. Place 5 rounded tablespoons of filling about 1-inch apart down the center of the dough. Fold the dough over the filling. Press down around the edges of each of the ravioli with your fingertips. Cut the ravioli into small squares and press down around the edges again with your fingertips to seal, or use a ravioli cutter to make life easier. Place the finished ravioli on a baking tray and continue forming the remaining ravioli.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add half the ravioli and cook until the ravioli float stirring occasionally, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain into a large bowl and cook the remaining ravioli. Serve ravioli with spoonfuls of pasta sauce and enjoy the goodness.

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