april 10, 2009

We like to make pasta once a month. Often we make linguini, but today we decided to make ravioli. A few months ago we did a spinach ricotta ravioli and today we went with a mushroom filling. We both agreed the mushroom tasted better.

Mushroom Ravioli

Fresh Pasta
1 1/2 cup semolina flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup hot water
2 eggs
2 tbs oil
1 tsp salt

Mushroom Filling
4 tbs butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbs cognac
2 cups crimini mushrooms, chopped and stems removed
5 sprigs thyme
4 tbs chopped parsley
2 tsp herbs de provence
2 oz parmesan, grated
16 oz cottage cheese (light)*
salt and pepper

For the mushroom filling, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute the garlic for about a minute and add cognac (any dry white wine will also work). Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the mushroom mixture and remaining ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Set the mixture aside while you make the fresh pasta.

In an electric mixer, beat the eggs for 30 seconds. Add the oil, flour, and salt. Mix at a low speed. The texture of the dough will be crumbly. Add the hot water a tablespoon at a time until the dough has pulled together. Remove dough from mixer and knead by hand for 2 minutes. Cover in saran wrap and let rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Depending on what kind of pasta maker you have, roll out sheets of pasta for the ravioli. We use a Kitchen Aid standing mixer fitted with the pasta maker attachments. We rolled the dough out to setting 5, which is reasonably thin. Let hang dry for about 15 minutes.

Lay a sheet of pasta on a floured surface and drop tablespoonfuls of the mushroom filling 2 inches apart. If the sheet is wide enough, fold the top half over the filling. Otherwise, lay another sheet of pasta on top. Press the top layer down to seal. Be careful of trapping air bubbles in the ravioli (this makes them float while cooking). Cut into squares using a ravioli cutter.

Be careful of placing the ravioli on top of each other, as they will stick! If you don’t plan on eating them now, they can be saved for later. To freeze, lay them side by side on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once frozen, they can be thrown in a bag. When we first made ravioli, we made the mistake of immediately bagging them for the freezer. When we later went to cook them, they had frozen into one solid ravioli mass.

To cook, bring a pot of water to a boil and add ravioli. Let boil until ravioli float, about 3 minutes if not frozen. We served them with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, grated parmesan, and a bit of chopped parsley.

*Many would use ricotta here, but we prefer cottage cheese. It’s healthier and tastes just as good.

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