Making ravioli from scratch has been on my cooking bucket list for a long time now, but I've been too intimidated to try it out. No longer! I found my ideal tool:
I found the Norpo Ravioli Maker on Amazon.com while looking for interesting new kitchen gadgets (it's a sickness) and threw it on my wish list. A couple months later I felt like I was in a cooking rut, so I purchased it. I then forgot about it for another month or so. When Food Lush was on vacation last month I decided to try it out, and was honestly surprised at how easy it was! I think the hardest part is the dough. You can't have it too sticky, but it can't be too hard. Not to mention the rolling. And the rolling. And the rolling. Let me tell you, my biceps got a workout. Here's what I ended up deeming as the best dough mixture:
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1 cup water
1-2 Tbs olive oil.
Whisk the flour and salt together and dump it out on the counter, forming a hill. Make a little well in the middle of the mound of flour and start adding the eggs.
After you add all the eggs, start breaking the yolks gently. Use a fork if you want, but your hands are going to get dirty eventually, so why forestall the inevitable? Now that you have a sticky mess, start adding water and oil to make a dough. Do not use more than a cup of water, this was my first problem. The dough will be very firm, and if you're like me (pretty inexperienced in the dough department) you're going to want to add more water. Don't do it. Suffer through the stiff dough. Once you have the dough mixed and lump-free, let it sit under a bowl for about half an hour. After that it's a matter of that massive amount of rolling I was telling you about. This strenuous exercises could probably be avoided with a pasta maker, but I haven't invested in one (yet).
After the rolling, it's fairly simple. Cut out the width and length you need for your press, lay out the dough and pop in your choice of filling. I used a mixture of lobster, ricotta, romano, parmesan, green onion, and garlic.
Lay another piece of dough over top the filling. This part is a little tricky, since air in the ravioli will do you no favors. I had the best luck with just filling the pockets as full as I could and laying down the dough like you would contact paper, bit by bit. Use a rolling pin to pinch off the sides and the middle, so you can clearly see the indents of the press.
The excess dough should just come right apart. Pop them out on a floured surface to dry. After about an hour turn them over and let them dry another hour. They should be firm, not rock hard, when you're ready to cook or freeze.
Cook for about 10 minutes until the pasta is tender! I don't think I'll ever go back to store bought, these were too good. The dough recipe above is good for 48ish raviolis, depending on how thin you manage to get the dough. If you're using a pasta machine you'll probably get more out of it.
So, ravioli experts, did I miss anything? Any tips or tricks you've come across? Favorite fillings? Share in the comments!