Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ravioli

YAY!  My first attempt at using my pasta maker!  I'm very excited/nervous because this task is really intimidating me, even though I feel a little more confident since trying my hand at gnocchi.  I understand that my comparisons aren't quite fair - I am making a chipotle sweet potato ravioli and the store brand is basil, asiago, and pine nut pesto.  Deal with it.

The Store Brand: Rising Moon Organics - Basil, Asiago, and Pine Nut Pesto Ravioli (couldn't they really just call these asiago and pesto...)

My Recipe:
Filling:
1 large sweet potato
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 adobe pepper in sauce

I baked the sweet potatoes (I used 3 small ones, and it was way too much filling) at 375ยบ for ~30 mins, then peeled them.  Put in the food processor with everything else and puree. 


Turn these into this ---->








Ravioli Dough (adapted from foodnetwork.com):
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp evoo

- Combine the flour and salt on a flat work surface; shape into a mound and make a well in the center.
- Add the eggs and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the well and lightly beat with a fork.


- Gradually draw in the flour from the inside wall of the well in a circular motion; use 1 hand for mixing and the other to protect the outer wall. Continue to incorporate all the flour until it forms a ball. Knead for about 10 minutes until elastic.
- Cover with plastic and let rest for 30 mins.


- Cut the ball of dough in 1/2, and press the dough into a rectangle and roll it through a pasta machine, 2 or 3 times, at widest setting. Reduce the setting and crank the dough through again, 2 or 3 times.
- Continue until the machine is at the narrowest setting; the dough should be about 1/8-inch thick.


Dust the counter and sheet of dough with flour, lay out the long sheet of pasta, and brush the top surface with a beaten egg white, which acts as a glue.
- Drop tablespoons of filling on 1/2 of the pasta sheet, about 2-inches apart.


- Fold the other 1/2 over the filling like a blanket.
- Gently press out air pockets around each mound of filling.

- Use a sharp knife to cut each pillow into squares and crimp the 4 edges with the tins of a fork to make a tight seal.












- Cook the ravioli in plenty of boiling salted water for 4 minutes; they'll float to the top when ready (don't overcrowd the pot).
- Lift the ravioli out with a slotted spoon.

So... my ravioli.  Ugh - I almost lost it during this process.  The dough was really, really dry, which made it hard to knead.  I added a little milk (probably not the right thing to do) and it was better, but still didn't seem quite right.  Getting it through the pasta roller took two people - could just be my inexpensive pasta maker.  Once they were cooked, the dough seemed a little hard - maybe not cooked long enough or my impromptu milk add-in, but they were floating away when I pulled them out.


So obviously mine were huge compared to the packaged brand.  I didn't think mine had quite enough filling to pasta ratio - next time I will try to fill them fuller or cut them smaller.  The pasta didn't seem much better on the frozen kind - a little hard, maybe they all just needed to be cooked longer.

The sweet potato filling in mine was very delicious - can't argue with that.  Overall, it just seemed like a lot of work for a decent piece of stuffed pasta.  I will try it again - stretching the pasta a little thinner, filling it more, and cooking a little longer.

So the cost?  So even though the cost worked out the same, mine were about twice the size, and I could easily have made a LOT more out of that recipe.  So in reality, I'd say mine cost half as much as the store bought version.


  Ravioli Count     Cost       Cost/Piece
Rising Moon Organics Ravioli30 $      2.99  $            0.10
Homemade20 $      1.96  $            0.10

But for now:
Bake or Buy?  BUY.

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