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Homemade Ravioli

 

Ravioli AssortmentFilling:

In a large bowl, combine the meat, eggs, garlic, vegetables, breadcrumbs and spices. Make sure the meat is ground fine; break it up during cooking process if necessary. The vegetable ingredients (onions, celery and carrots) need to be finely minced or grated. Spread olive oil in a large skillet or cooking/soup pot. Warm slightly and then add the grated/minced vegetables. Cook for a few minutes, stirring, until vegetables are nearly tender. Then add the meat mixture; mix well. Cook on low heat, stirring often, until meat is fully cooked. Add the spinach and Romano cheese; mix well. Drain off excess fat. Place meat mixture in a bowl; stir in the ricotta cheese. Cover filling and set aside until ready to stuff the ravioli.

 

Pasta Dough:

Ravioli Cutter, also known as "Dumpling Makers"Sift the flour into a large bowl; make a well in the center. Add the salt, oil, eggs and water. Mix the flour and liquid together gradually with a wooden spoon until absorbed. Place dough on a floured board; knead until the mixture appears dry and smooth. (Add more flour if dough seems sticky). Cover with a tea towel and let stand for about fifteen minutes. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough in handfuls until the flattened dough is very thin but not transparent. Cut dough into 4" circles.

 

Place dough circle (one at a time) into the center of a ravioli cutter (see photo above right); place about a teaspoon of the filling mixture in the middle. Carefully fold over the cutter so that edges are pinched in and have formed a "fanned" look. The edges should hold together, but if they become loose take a little cornstarch mixed with water and rub the edges gently. Repeat process with remaining dough and filling mixture. Lay completed ravioli on a large cookie sheet. If there is meat mixture left over, place in a covered container and refrigerate for later use (such as an addition to a meat or tomato sauce).

 

Cooking the Ravioli:

In a large pot, bring water to a boil (enough to fill the pot 3/4 full). Add salt and olive oil to the water. When the water starts to boil, add the ravioli ten to twenty at a time. Boil gently for about ten minutes, or until the raviolis rise to the surface of the water. Drain carefully as not to rip open the ravioli skins.

 

Yield: Approximately 100 ravioli.

 

Ravioli serving suggestionServing Suggestions:

Ravioli are best when tossed with a tomato sauce, or a cheesy-creamy Alfredo sauce. However, they can also be tossed with combinations such as herbs and cheese, nut sauces, or meat and vegetarian sauces. The fillings can be just as original: try ground turkey or chicken, pureed vegetables or sausage. The dough can be flavored with a touch of pumpkin, tomato, herbs or spinach as well.

 

Freezing:

If you only want to cook a small portion of the ravioli for consumption, freeze the uncooked portions in plastic freezer bags. I would recommend freezing sixteen ravioli per bag, which constitutes two servings. Layer the ravioli with wax paper to prevent sticking. Another method is to partially freeze the raviolis on cookie sheets before placing them into the freezer bags between wax paper layers. It is wise to layer the ravioli before freezing as they have a tendency to cling and tear when unthawed.

 

Recipe featured in the Larkin Community Cookbook.

 

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