Sunday, August 17, 2014

traditonal pork and spinach ravioli

*Makes just short of 16 dozen raviolis

10 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tbsp olive oil
1 package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and thoroughly drained
2-4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 cup parmesan
4-6 oz. marscapone cheese


Make the filling:
1. Heat oil in large saute pan. Add garlic for about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon remove garlic before browning.
2. Add shallots to pan with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a couple grinds fresh pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon remove shallots from pan. Once cool, mince garlic and shallots on a cutting board.
3. Add pork to pan with more salt (about 1/2 tsp.) and more pepper. After browned, drain meat in colander to remove excess fat.
4. Turn off heat. Return meat to pan. Add all other ingredients to pan. Mix thoroughly to combine and melt cheese. Let the mixture cool before proceeding.
5. When cooled, make tiny balls (maybe 1/2 tbsp. big) with the filling so that you can easily plop them in the ravioli mold when needed. 

*I use my KitchenAid Stand Mixer fitted with these Pasta Attachments to make the ravioli pasta sheets. It's much easier than rolling them out by hand.

Prepare the pasta sheets:
Using a dough scraper cut the dough ball into fourths (keep any unused pieces wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent the dough from drying out). Taking one fourth at a time, roll out the dough into a long, thin rectangular pasta sheet (until setting #5 if using the KitchenAid pasta roller attachment). You will continue to make pasta sheets in this fashion, only as needed though. Do not roll out all of the sheets ahead of time, otherwise you will dry out your dough which will make sealing the raviolis challenging.

Make the ravioli:
Lay the prepared pasta sheet over a ravioli tray. Take the prepared filling balls and gently flatten them out with your index finger and thumb, creating small flat discs. Place them in the middle of each ravioli mold. Lay another pasta sheet over the filling. Using a rolling pin, seal the two pasta sheets together. Suggested method of rolling: first roll one short end, then the other short end, then one long end, leaving one long end open so that any air can escape. Roll over the top lightly to press out any air, then crimp the last long end. If you crimp the interior too much (i.e. roll too hard), they won't drop out of the tray in one piece. After you've sealed the sheets together, turn the tray upside down and gently help the raviolis out onto a parchment-lined tray or cutting board. Finally use a pastry crimper to ensure all sides around the ravioli are sealed. On a slight angle gently run the pastry crimper along all sides of the raviolis. At this point, I recommend popping them in the freezer for 10 or so minutes. After some time in the freezer, the individual raviolis will easily break apart. If you aren't cooking them immediately, place the raviolis in a freezer bag and store in the freezer. *Incorporate any dough scraps into your next pasta sheet.

Cooking the ravioli:
1. Gently boil the fresh raviolis for 4 minutes.
Tip: lower the raviolis into the boiling water using an Asian strainer rather than throwing/dumping them in the pot. This helps prevent water from splashing and the fragile raviolis from breaking open.
2. When the raviolis have finished cooking, using the strainer again, remove them and place in a colander to remove any excess water.
3. Serve with a basic marinara sauce and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

* Serving Suggestions:
Dinner: 1.5 dozen per person
Lunch or Holidays: 1 dozen per person

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