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    Saturday, February 27, 2010

    Simple Ravioli - Anyone can do this


    Ruth from Once upon a Feast Blog started her Presto Pasta Nights  three years ago this week, so it is a celebration of 3 years of Pasta Recipes. Click Here  to have a look. 

    I was approached by the PR people for Perfecto Italiano, who are currently marketing their Ricotta range. "Would I like to cook with their Ricotta and blog about it"?
    Yes, I thought this would be really fun. I had some really good Ricotta recipes that I have been wanting to trial. What better time and great for Ruth's Event.

    Lots of people are nervous about making fresh pasta but it is really easy and this first version of Pasta making doesn't even need any machines.

    Mario Batali Italian King of FoodNetworkTV loves Ricotta and I was intrigued by this recipe. He calls them Cialzons which are Ravioli from Friuli, an area of Italy, up at the right hand side of the boot. With Austrian influences. It’s all about butter up there not olive oil.
    The filling is very flavouful and I love the little bite of currants.
    In fact I added a few more currants. That little sweet bubble, amongst the savoury.

    I have done two versions of this Cialzon…One,which doesn’t require a pasta machine.
    The other I did use my machine. The first…a rustic version, using your hands is a bit thicker and took a couple of more minutes to cook, but basically both work!

    I also made pasta two ways.
    Mario’s style. On the bench...the Fontana/Well method
    Then I made the version shown on
    MasterChef Australia by George Calombaris.
    The Food Processor method.

    So first we will go with Mario

    Make the Pasta first.
    1 3/4 - 2 cups Hi-grade white flour
    2 extra large eggs
    1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

    Mound 1 3/4 cups of the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board.
    Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs and the olive oil. 
    Using a fork, beat together the eggs and oil and begin to incorporate the flour,
    starting with the inner rim of the well.
    As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up from the base of the mound to retain the well shape.
    The dough will come together when half of the flour is incorporated.

    Start kneading the dough with both hands, using the palms of your hands.
    Once you have a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board, and scrape up and discard any leftover bits.
    Lightly reflour the board and continue kneading for 6 more minutes.
    The dough should be elastic and a little sticky.
    If it is too sticky add a little more flour.
    Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
     Meanwhile make The Filling.

    250 gms ricotta
    1 egg, beaten
    2 tablespoons currants
    1/2 teaspoon bitter cocoa
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
    1 tablespoons sliced scallions
    1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley leaves

    In a bowl, mix the ricotta, smoked ricotta, eggs, salt,
    Currants, cocoa, nutmeg, lemon zest, 
    scallions, and parsley.
    Set aside

    For the Sauce
    1 cup Chicken Stock, Homemade if possible
    6 sage leaves
    2 tablespoons butter
    Salt and pepper

    Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil

    Unwrap dough and cut into 3
    Roll into a sausage

    Cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    On a lightly floured bench
    Push the pieces into circle with your fingers
    Make them as thin as possible

    Place a little bit of filling in the centre of 1 circle
    With your fingers wipe the edge with a little water to act as glue
    Place another circle on top
    Squash around the edges making sure you remove any air bubbles
    Keep your board lightly floured
    Put your little Cialzons to one side
     When the water comes to a rolling boil
    Add Cialzons
    Cook for about 5-7 minutes till tender.
    They will float to the top
    Don’t do too many at once

    Meanwhile, place the chicken stock, sage,
    and butter into a 12 to 14-inch sauté pan, and bring to a boil.

    Drain the pasta and toss into the pan with the stock/butter mixture.
    Toss over high heat, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
    A little extra chopped parsley
    Good to go

    Now for those who are nervous about the Fontana/Well method of pasta making
    Try this recipe from George, Super Judge MasterChef Australia.

    Into the food processor
    200 gms flour
    2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk
    Pinch salt
    Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive oil

     Pulse till it all comes together

    Turn out onto lightly floured bench
    Knead till smooth and glossy about 3 minutes

    Make into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap
    Set aside 30 minutes.
    Continue as before.
    There you go. Mario's on the left George on the right.
    Taste Test?
    Couldn't tell the difference.

    I also tried rolling both pastas in the machine

    Cut pasta into 3
    Roll out on the machine starting at the widest
    Working down to the thinnest

    Lay strip on bench and cut out shapes.
    I used a cookie cutter but you could just cut into squares, if you wish
    Definitely a more elegant looking ravioli.

    Put filling in middle of pasta
    And proceed as before.
    They will only take 5 minutes to cook.

    Please try it's so easy.

    Tomorrow: Lovely little Savoury Tarts using Perfecto Italian Ricotta, Goats Cheese and Leeks.
    You will love it.


    Barbara said...

    They sound delicious Gilli. I still haven't used my pasta machine I got for Christmas. I've had a lot on and I need to set aside a day to devote to making pasta.

    Anali said...

    Looks good Gilli! I still haven't made pasta from scratch. I'm such a bad food blogger! : )

    katiez said...

    I really need to start making my own pasta again. These look wonderful - and easy. Maybe this weekend....

    Ruth Daniels said...

    Wow, Wow, and double WOW!!!

    What a truly awesome post for Presto Pasta Night's third birthday bash. Thanks so much for sharing.

    And you made it look so easy, I just might try Mario's version. On the other hand, I do love my KitchenAid pasta attachment...I'll keep you posted.

    Joanne said...

    I've always wanted to make my own pasta but refrained because I don't own a pasta roller. This looks like the solution to my problem though! This filling is so interesting...looks great!