Monday, February 25, 2013


This post is dedicated to Kaz and Andrea, who made today's recipe possible :)

I HAVE MADE MY OWN PASTA!  Yes, you've read that correctly.  I literally made fettucini and raviolis from scratch.  I am so excited about this, you cannot even believe it.  It was fun, it was easy, and it was absolutely delicious. 

Back at Christmas time, I started pining for a pasta machine.  Preferably, the one that attaches to my Kitchen Aid mixer.  Except for the fact that... it's about $500.  I really thought I was going to get one, but then I got an engagement ring instead, which is 100% okay with me!  Then, Andrea gave me a ravioli mold that can press out 12 perfect raviolis at once, and it even came with its own cute little rolling pin.  But still, no pasta machine, no raviolis.  Then last week, Kaz gave me the pasta machine that his mother gave to him (since people with celiac disease can't exactly be making their own pasta left and right!), and I officially had all I needed to start being the good little Italian girl that I am!  I decided to make a double batch of doughs and make some raviolis (and I ended up making fettucini with the extra dough).

Dough balls resting under their wet towel!
After much research, I decided to do a flour blend using half regular, half semolina.  I am very glad that I did, because semolina hs a really high gluten content, which makes the dough easy to work with and stretch, which is definitely a must for making pasta.  It also had the perfect consistency, so I will do that again.  Then I just mixed the flours and salt with eggs, olive oil, and a little water.  I used my mixer for most of it, and then kneaded it by hand until I had a dough.  Then I let it sit for a while (Annie says to let it rest 30 minutes) and made my fillings.

I decided to make two different fillings for my raviolis, based on my family's requests.  Mom asked for a spinach and ricotta, and Rachael wanted plain cheese.  After some research, I came upon the Pioneer Woman's recipes for three different fillings.  I mixed and matched them a bit and came up with two absolutely delicious fillings that were both very well loved (although there is a special place in my heart for those spinach raviolis... oh man... so fresh-tasting and amazing!).

Then it was time for the real fun to start.  To use the pasta machine, you have to roll out the dough thin enough to fit through the widest setting, then feed it through and crank away.  After one swipe through the machine, it is a bit shaggy and torn-looking, so you fold it into thirds, roll it out again, and put it back through the machine.  Some people suggest doing this a few more times, but my machine must be extra awesome, because I was ready to go down to the next thinnest setting.  My machine has 7 settings, and I found that the perfect ravioli setting to end on was 4.  5 was too thick and 3 a little bit too thin.  This part was really fun and exciting- maybe I am a dork - but it was awesome to watch the dough getting thinner and longer and stretching so perfectly.

Once the dough was ready, I laid one end of it over my mold and pressed the dough inside the holes. Then I filled each hole, and folded the other end of the dough over the top.  Here is where the trusty little rolling pin came in handy to press the dough down, sealing the raviolis and cutting them out.  I used a toothpick to help me get the first ravioli out, and then I was able to pull them all out easily.  Again - this was so much fun!!!  Am I weird?!

These guys only required 3 minutes in boiling water, and they were ready to go.  And go they did!  I had Kenzie and Nick make me their spaghetti sauce (meatless this time!) and it was really a wonderful meal.  I am already looking forward to my next pasta creation.  Tortellini?  Spaghetti?  Some other bizarrely-stuffed ravioli!?  My options are endless.  I am pumped with my new hobby.

One last note: I told you I made fettucini because I had leftover dough and no more filling.  I laid them out (on an upright cutting board since I don't have a drying rack!) to dry for an hour and stored them in the fridge.  Today my mom went to cook them, but she only cooked them for the 3 minutes we gave the other pasta.  The issue was, once you dry them, they do take longer than 3-5 minutes, so be careful if you dry your pasta to cook it long enough!


homemade pasta dough
from Annie's Eats

1) Mix together ricotta, grated cheeses, egg, and salt and pepper to taste. Split into two separate bowls and set aside.

2) In a skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil and wilt spinach (this'll only take about 30-45 seconds.) Remove from skillet and chop. Allow to cool, then stir into one batch of the ricotta mixture. Set aside.

3) Once the ravioli are assembled, drop them four at a time into boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon.

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