What a week! Thank goodness it’s finally Spring Break! I’m so excited, J will be back in a few days and then we are heading to Istanbul for a week. I’m going to see me some Whirling Dervishes (Isn’t that just fun to say??) and eat oodles and oodles of turkish delight! I love vacation
In the meantime, I promised you a recipe for ravioli! Last Thursday was a really frustrating day at work (it should have been a sign of what was to come this week! yikes!!) and when I came home from work I really needed to work out some stress in the kitchen! Making ravioli was the perfect way to do that because you get to take out all of your aggression on some pasta dough which is really gratifying when you beat and pound something and then as if by magic it turns into a delicious dinner!I had these little potsticker/ravioli molds that I’ve been dying to use, but J isn’t a big fan of pasta so they have been sitting in the drawer for a few weeks. So since he wasn’t here, I was having pasta for dinner. I gave up on those molds about halfway through, they were a bit tedious, but pretty! I just started making little triangles and pressing the edges with a fork on each side to seal. Less pretty, but much faster and equally tasty.
I really had my heart set on butternut squash ravioli, which they serve at this restaurant we used to love going to back home. But apparently, like so many other seemingly average things, I couldn’t find my beloved squash here in the middle east. Maybe if I lived in a bigger city with a fancy organic grocery… Alas, I deferred to my equally delicious friend, the canned pumpkin, and he didn’t let me down.Now, I’ve seen plenty of recipes and cooking demos and shows where they pile the flour up on the counter, crack an egg on top of it and knead out a perfect ball of dough from that, right there, with no bowl. I assure you, that if I had tried that, there would have been egg all over my apron and my floor. So I used a bowl. If you are lucky enough to own a food processor, you can combine all of the pasta ingredients in there and whiz it around until it starts to form a ball. Otherwise, mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in a second and combine slowly. Trust me, the first time I did this I cracked those eggs right into the flour and what I ended up with looked like very dry scrambled eggs and took a significant arm workout to get all of ingredients to incorporate smoothly (although it still tasted yummy!).
To top these off I just browned a tablespoon of butter and added a sprinkle of parmesan, but some toasted pine nuts would have been the perfect addition. Good thing I froze the rest, I can pick up some pine nuts and have some more ravioli for lunch this weekend!
Makes about 24 ravioli
(adapted from Gourmet.com)
1 ¼ cup flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup water
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
Begin by preparing the pasta dough. Combine flour, cornstarch and salt. In a separate bowl mix the egg yolks, olive oil and water and mix well. Slowly add to the flour mixture, stirring well until the dough begins to form a ball. Then turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth for about 8 minutes. Cover the dough and allow to rest at room temperature for about an hour.
To prepare the filling combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Separate the dough into three balls so that it is easier to work with and roll out one ball into a thin, rectangular sheet. Cut a piece to fit your mold and slide into the mold, gently pressing down on the center to ensure there is a pocket for the filling. Spoon a small amount of filling (about a teaspoon) into the center and press the mold firmly together. Trim the excess dough and repeat.
Alternately, if you don’t have a mold, cut the dough into strips about 2 ½ inches wide. Fold one corner up to form a triangular shaped ravioli. Fill with a small spoonful of filling and use a fork to press the seam closed, like you would the edge of a pie crust. Flip the ravioli over and repeat to ensure a good seal. If you’re edges aren’t sticking together, dip the fork in a small bowl of water and run along the inside edge of the ravioli to moisten before sealing.
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and add the raviolis. Normally, when cooking raviolis you can judge that they are done when they begin to float, but I found that homemade ones needed to cook about a minute or two longer about 9 or 10 minutes.
Top with your favorite sauce or, like I did, with a tablespoon of browned butter per serving and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.