Today was my day off and, much like that lady on the food network who seems really mean, I spent it cooking (minus the film crew and culinary prestige of course). I woke up early to bake cookies (hopefully that post is for tomorrow) and went to a friends house to make ravioli. And by make, I mean he did all the work while I snapped pictures. Kind of nice for a change.
Like all things that require a kneaded dough, ravioli intimidated me. I understand the basics of kneading, but I am a visual learner and I don’t think there is a book that can show you how hard to press or teach you what the proper consistency is when the kneading is all done.
So please excuse my lack of an official recipe, but this one is a touch test.
- 3 to 4 cups flour, plus more for flouring your work surface
- 5 to 6 eggs
- Red sauce of choice (or make it from scratch, might as well if your bothering to make the ravioli from scratch. He did)
- Fillings of choice ( Use what you have on hand. Cooked sausage, pepperoni , ground beef, potatoes, ricotta, spinach, etc.)
In a large bowl, create a well in the center of your flour for the eggs. Poor in the eggs and combine with a fork until everything starts to stick together a bit. Use your hands to combine the rest of the way. Knead the dough for 10 minutes continuously folding the dough back onto it self . Form a ball with the dough and wrap your dough in plastic wrap. Set aside for 35 to 40 minutes. This recipe makes about a pound of dough.
Cut your dough into 4 sections, wrapping the sections you are not working with in a damp towel and set aside. Flour your work surface and roll out one section at a time. Get the dough as thin as you can by hand and use a round mold to cut your ravioli sized portions (dealers choice – you can cut though dough into squares for triangle ravioli as well). Put a small amount if filling in the center of each ravioli. Wet the edges of the ravioli with water and pinch shut. Repeat process until all the dough is used.
Boil the ravioli in a a large pot for only 2 or 3 minutes each, drain and toss with sauce of choice.
I’m a girl, so I am inherently crazy, but I find sitting in the kitchen working with food all day more relaxing then a med spa. At least I don’t have to worry about people touching me or falling asleep and drooling on myself. Its social, not just sitting on your butt and at the end of it all you get to see people enjoy what you cook. I don’t have to think about whatever is pecking away at me, work or anything. I just have to focus on whether or not that was the second or third scoop of flour and not to cut my digits off. Even when I’m alone in the kitchen, it’s calming.
As for the kneading of dough issue, I need to get over that. I make it hard or complex in my head and its really not. The few times I have watched someone do it, its cake.
Building that bridge, over it, setting it on fire.