It’s good to have a long Saturday project. One that takes a lot of time and has a lot of different tasks and has a lot of breaks. A project to schedule your naps around. A project that will take much longer to prepare than it will to enjoy. Because, really, that’s the fun part.
These ravioli were one big, huge Saturday project. So many fun aspects: peeling, mashing, kneading, rolling. My favorite part? Cracking the eggs into a well (right on the counter! no bowl!). It took Glenn and I about four hours to prepare and about fifteen minutes to eat. In the end, the taste was a little disappointing (an odd combination of too rich and too bland — it think we didn’t use enough contrasting flavors), but it was nice to sit down to a meal prepared entirely from scratch.
We used The Joy of Cooking for the pasta dough and an old Bon Appetit recipe for the filling and sauce. We added a little goat cheese at the end, which was a nice compliment to earthy flavors.
Fresh Egg Pasta
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
- 5 large eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Measure the flour onto a clean counter, shape into a mound, and form a well in the center. Add the eggs, salt, and oil to the well. Use a fork to whisk the eggs, gradually incorporating some flour as you go. Use your fingers to mix the eggs into the flour until a smooth dough forms. Knead the dough until it is satiny and elastic. Divide into four balls, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rest about an hour.
- Working with one ball of dough at a time, roll it out on your counter with a rolling pin. When the dough is as thin as you can get it with the rolling pin, stretch it with your hands. The Joy of Cooking has excellent instructions and diagrams, but I’ll try to explain a little bit of the technique. Lay the rolling pin across the dough and pick up the dough on the opposite side of the rolling pin. You can stretch it by laying it over the pin and holding it to the pin as you roll outward. You can also stretch it by using the pin to hold the rest of the dough down while you use your hands to stretch the dough away from you. In the end, you want the dough to be so thin that you can see your hand through it. Remember — pasta cooks up.
- To make ravioli, you will place the filling on one half of the dough, fold the dough over, seal the edges, and cut the pieces apart. On one half of the rolled out dough, place teaspoons of filling with 1-2 inches in between. Dip your fingers in a bowl of water and wet the dough between the drops of filling. Then fold the plain side of the dough over the filling side of the dough and use your fingers to seal the area around each drop of filling. Then use a pizza cutter to cut the individual ravioli apart.
- Spread the ravioli on a baking sheet, cover loosely in plastic wrap, and let rest one hour.
- Boil ravioli in a large pot of water for about three minutes.