Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bell Pepper Ravioli with Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Filling

I've been wanting to make ravioli from scratch for a while now but I didn't have a pasta maker until a couple weeks ago when my husband got me one. It takes an extra time to make them but they are worth it. 

Ravioli dough
1 1/8 cup all-purpose flour plus        additional for kneading
1/4 cup semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fresh red bell pepper juice
1 egg

1 cup ricotta
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 chopped frozen spinach, thawed
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Filling. Drain excess water on spinach very well. Mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to use.

1. Place all ingredients except for additional flour in food processor. Process until mixture just forms a ball (do not over-process).

2. Take out the ball from the food processor or bowl onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead for about 7 or 8 minutes, incorporating a little extra flour from time to time to keep it from sticking. Knead until it is smooth, elastic, and no longer sticks. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. This allows the ingredients to further blend together. 

3. Separate the dough into two equal parts, keep the non working dough covered to keep them from drying out. 
4. Set pasta machine rollers on widest setting, flatten portion of dough into a rectangle and feed through rollers 4 or 6 times, folding rectangle in half each time and then feeding through the rollers again. Sprinkle with flour as necessary to keep from sticking. Set machine rollers to next narrower setting and feed dough through several more times, without folding. Keep setting machine rollers narrower and narrower until desired pasta thickness is reached. Hang sheets over a dowel, or let them hang off edge of counter to dry but still pliable- that is not wet and sticky, but also not so dry where  it is brittle and can crack. Roll remaining portions in same manner. Cut as desired when still somewhat soft.

5. The dough strip should be about 24" long. Use the 2-wheel hand tool cutter to trim it to the size required for the ravioli maker.

6. Fold dough strip in half. Then take the folded edge and get it started between the ravioli attachment rollers. Turn the handle so slowly just to the dough started between the rollers. Spread the dough strips apart and lightly let them drape over the 2 wooden rollers.

To make ravioli. Spoon a tablespoon of filling between the dough  strips. Turn the handle slowly and guide the ravioli away from the rollers. Repeat the same process until you have used up all your filling or dough.

When the strip of ravioli is finished, let it dry for about 15 minutes and gently separate them by hand. Dust a little more flour and cook immediately; refrigerate or freeze them.

To Cook: Add to boiling water with a little salt and cook until they've reached your desired doneness. 

Serve with your favorite pasta sauce.

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