Ricotta and Herb Ravioli
Ricotta and Herb Ravioli
Homemade pasta is better. Period. The dough is more toothsome (I love this word when describing a good pasta), more flavorful, and more filling. Homemade ricotta is also way better than store bought, it has way more flavor and you can control the texture. Making ricotta at home is so easy and definitely worth it. I use whatever mix of herbs I have in the garden at the time, I particularly like basil, parsley, chives and thyme but any fresh herbs will do. These ravioli are super versatile and will go with just about any sauce. You could do melted butter with a little lemon and a handful of parmesan or cherry tomatoes cooked down with a little white wine or pretty much any other sauce.
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- 2 cups 00 Flour All purpose will work too
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp salt
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar
- 1/4 cup mixed fresh herbs finely chopped
For the pasta dough, mix the eggs, flour, olive oil and salt in the bowl of stand mixer until a shaggy dough forms. Using the dough hook, knead for about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can knead by hand for 10 minutes (this will give a good arm workout too!) Wrap dough in plastic and let sit for 30 minutes. *The dough can be made ahead of time, just pop it in the fridge and bring it to room temperature 30 minutes before using it.
While the dough is resting, bring milk, heavy cream and salt to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Once the liquid starts to boil, turn off the heat and stir in lemon juice or vinegar. Let sit, without stirring it for 5 minutes, it should start to curdle right away. Pour the mixture into a colander lined with cheese cloth (paper towels also work well) set over a bowl. Let drain for 20-30 minutes until cheese is no longer runny. The whey (leftover liquid from the cheese) can either be discarded or saved for another use - makes for a protein rich water substitute for pizza dough.
After the resting period for the pasta dough, cut into 6 equalish pieces. Using a pasta roller (hand-cranked or mixer attachment) roll out the dough until it is very thin but not tearing, on my KitchenAid I go to a 6 setting. *A pasta roller makes this job much easier but it can be done with a rolling pin and some patience.
Mix the ricotta with the herbs and season with salt and pepper. Put a ziplock bag in tall wide glass and fold the edges over the top of the glass. Fill the bag with the ricotta filling and seal the top. Using a knife or scissors, cut the tip of the bag at the corner.
In a small bowl, beat together an egg with a tablespoon of water and set aside for sealing. Working with one half lengthwise of each pasta sheet, pipe about a tablespoon of ricotta filling every couple of inches along the sheet. Brush the eggwash along the outside edge and in between the ricotta drops. Fold the empty half of the dough over the top of the ricotta and use your finger to seal around the filling, trying to release any air bubbles. Using a pasta cutter (or pizza cutter or knife) cut into individual ravioli. Save a scrap for testing cooking times.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the ravioli in 2-3 batches. The timing will depend on your dough thickness but you can test it by first cooking your reserved dough scrap until your liking (I prefer slightly al dente with a little bite left in it). Add your favorite sauce and enjoy.