One of the things I wanted to do while my grandma was here was make homemade ravioli. I've always wanted to make them, but wasn't brave enough to do it myself. I figured that when she came to visit that would be the perfect time. I mean, what better time to make homemade ravioli then when your Italian grandma comes into town. BUT.....It was approaching the end of her trip and we still hadn't made them. I was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen. We finally decided we would make them on Tuesday of this week (she was leaving on Thursday). I'll post more on her visit later, lets get to the recipe. Dough: (I doubled the recipe from the book) 6 c. flour (preferably unbleached) 8 eggs, at room temperature salt to taste 4-8 tablespoons cold water Filling: (Paula Deens filling from her Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells (find in my recipe column...minus the chicken) 2 c. fresh chopped spinach 1 garlic clove 1 15 ounce container ricotta cheese 1 8oz package cream cheese 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese 1 large egg 1 tbs. parsley 1 tsp. Italian seasoning 12 tsp salt I used my stand mixer with the dough hook and it worked great (that's what this recipe will be using). If you don't have a dough hook mix it in a bowl (it's easier than on a bread board like the recipe called for). Add flour and salt together in bowl of stand mixer. (I had to chuckle when it said "salt to taste"...and how does one do that when making dough?...I just guessed). Make a well in the center and break the eggs into the well. Turn mixer on low and let it mix in. Gradually add water (you don't want the dough "wet", but on the dry side. The dough will begin to feel firm and pull away from sides.
Once it does this, remove it from the bowl and place on a floured bread board, counter or marble slab. (It's handy to have Grandma handy so you can say "Ma, does this look right? What do you think? I totally relied on her). Place under a bowl for about 10 minutes to let it rest (the original recipe said to let it rest for an hour but we didn't have time). Divide dough into fourths. Work with one fourth at a time, keeping the others under the bowl. Roll dough into a flattened circle, and then roll out very thin. Keep turning it using flour to keep it from sticking.
I took pictures but then my grandma got hold of my camera and said she needed to take one of me. Sorry Ma I forgot to photoshop us.Once you have the filling on the dough take that flat edge and fold over. Use your finger to make indentations before cutting. Cut the pasta between each mound of filing and along the bottom edge. Then seal edges with a fork. You can either freeze them at this point or boil them in water. Place them in boiling water until they float to the top, then let them boil for another 3-5 minutes. We tested one to see if it was done. These were amazing. We layered them with sauce, topped with cheese and enjoyed them. This recipe makes about 40 good size ravioli. You could half it for less or make them smaller for more. We used the recipe for the dough from this book...Italian Family Cooking by Edward Giobbi. The lady we used to live with picked it up for me at a garage sale. My grandma loved looking through it and finding recipes she used to have as a child and reading the stories that went along with them. Oh My Goodness!! How in the world could I forget the meatballs. They were wonderful. For every 1 lb. of ground beef use 1/2 lb. of ground pork, add I'm guessing about 1/4 c. bread crumbs, one or two eggs and some grated Pecorino/Romano cheese. Roll into balls and place in a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Cook till no longer pink and then add to your spaghetti sauce. The longer they simmer in the sauce, the more tender they will become.
My grandma had an awesome tip for meatballs which I will share next Tuesday on my Kitchen Tip Tuesday post.With Joy UNquenchable,