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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ravioli 101

Broccoli Rabe-Ricotta Ravioli
Fresh pasta dough (recipe below)
Flour for dusting
2 Cups part skim ricotta, drained
1 Cup steamed broccoli rabe, finely chopped and drained well
1 Egg
1 TSP lemon zest
2 TBS parsley, chopped
1 TSP Salt

It's another great day for a project; a great excuse to dust off the old pasta machine and try my new ravioli stamps.  Yes, making your own ravioli takes little bit of practice and a lot of patience.  Despite the frustration, the results are well-worth it.  Now I have a stock pile in my freezer so I can enjoy whenever I want.  There is something kind of therapeutic about rolling out the pasta too, especially if you have a hand crank machine (great way to get out aggression)!

Now when it comes to filling, there are endless options.  I wanted to try something a little different, while keeping it simple.  So I'm putting a twist on the classic spinach-ricotta filled ravioli by using bitter broccoli rabe instead.

Mix the ricotta, broccoli rabe, egg, zest, parsley and salt in a large bowl until combined.  Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Divide the dough into quarters.  Roll out one portion at a time to create sheets.  It should be thin, but not so thin it's difficult to work with.  Place your pasta sheets on a well-floured surface.  Using a cookie cutter or ravioli stamp as your guide, drop 1 tablespoon of  filling on the bottom sheet of dough.  Lay a second sheet of pasta over the filling and begin to seal the edges around the filling.  Use a cookie cutter and/or ravioli stamp to cut out the ravioli, making sure the edges are sealed.  Place on a  parchment-lined or well-floured cookie sheet.

Bring a pot of salted water to a gentle boil.  Cook the pasta for 2-3 minutes, or when they begin to float.  Serve with butter and fresh herbs or marinara sauce.  If not enjoying immediately, flash freeze on the baking sheet before storing in freezer bags.

Mark Bittman's Pasta Dough
2 Cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 TSP salt
2 Eggs
3 Egg yolks

I've tried a few different pasta dough recipes, but I've found that Mark Bittman's produces the best results.  It's nearly fool-proof if you're making in a food processor, and the dough is easy to work with thanks to the extra egg yolks.

Add flour and salt to the food processor and pulse once or twice.  Add all the eggs and yolks and run the machine for 30 seconds until the dough starts for form a ball.  If it's too grainy add a few drops of water, if it's too wet add a touch more flour.  Turn-out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.  Let rest for 30 minutes.  Begin to roll out immediately or store in the fridge for up to 24 hours until ready to use.

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.