Once you’ve mastered rolling out sheets of pasta, you can make filled pasta, too. We’ve hosted parties where each couple brought a filling, we provided the sheets of pasta, and everyone had a boisterous evening of creating and cooking delicious filled pasta. Our guests got to take home big sealed plastic bags of raviolis for their freezers.
Yield: 1 pound of pasta or more (depending on filling)
· Ravioli tray or ice-cube tray
· Small Spoon
· Paintbrush or pastry brush
· Glass of water
· Pasta or pizza cutter
· Rolling pin or wine bottle
· Parchment paper
· Cookie tray
· Optional: Freezer bags or containers
· Fresh pasta sheets
· Filling of your choice
We’ve tried many different ravioli-making tools over the years and ultimately decided that the device resembling an ice-cube tray is our favorite. You can use a regular ice-cube tray to similar effect, or you can separate the ravioli with your pizza or pasta cutter; both methods are explained here. Either way, cut your pasta sheets to the same size, as one will lie on top of another. If using a tray, cut your pasta sheets so that they are slightly larger than the tray.
Put the completed ravioli on a parchment-lined cookie sheet to be frozen or cooked. If storing, leave the ravioli on the cookie sheet in the freezer until they are semi-frozen before putting them in a container or freezer bag (they should be firm enough to be stacked without getting mashed). To use them right away, cook them by dropping them individually into a wide kettle of boiling water.
The Tray Method:
Lay a single sheet of pasta on top of the tray, and gently make indentations into the openings below. Be careful not to tear the sheet as you press down. Scoop a scant spoonful of filling into each indentation. Paint lines of water where the pasta is touching the edges of the tray—between the indentations and on the outside edges. Lay the second sheet over the first, matching up the outer edges. Roll firmly over the top of the pasta with a rolling pin (or wine bottle), sealing the edges. Life the sealed pasta sheets out of the tray, and, if necessary, cut between each ravioli with a knife or wheel to separate them.
The Countertop or tabletop Method:
Dust your work surface lightly with semolina, and lay out one sheet of pasta. Place scant spoonfuls of filling on the pasta, spacing them out evenly and leaving at least one or two finger widths between each scoop. With the brush, paint water lines between all of the dollops of filling. Gently lay the second sheet of pasta on top of the first, lining up the outer edges. Carefully press the pasta down between the dollops; you want as little air in the pockets of filling as possible. Take your cutter and firmly roll between each of the dollops along the wet lines you painted. Be sure to cut all the way through both sheets. Although some cutters will seal the edges as they cut, we’ve found that it still helps to pinch the edges of each ravioli to make sure that they are sealed on all sides. If the ravioli are not sealed, they will spill their contents into the cooking water.
This article was excerpted with permission from the book Urban Farm Projects: Making the Most of Your Money, Space, and Stuff, copyright 2014, I-5 Publishing, LLC. For more budget-friendly and environmentally conscience projects and recipes, pick up a copy today!