Thursday, July 26, 2012

Just Like Nana Does it: Meat and Cheese Ravioli

Alright, here we go again, experimenting in the kitchen, trying to puzzle out how my Nana cooks the way she does. This time, Ravioli! But not just any ravioli, the best of both world's ravioli, meat and cheese!

Let's give you the finished product first!

Home made ravs with home made bread rolls...if only I had made up some fresh sauce... but since it was like 10:30 by the time I finished (started late) I just thru some classico on top.

First up, make up the filling!

  • 1 Spanish onion chopped fine
  • 2tbsp minced garlic in oil
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • big handful of spinach, chopped

In a small pan I quickly cooked   the onions with the garlic, then threw in the spinach until cooked
  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1lb lean ground pork
In a separate pan I browned the meat, you have to be vigorous with the wooded spoon here, you want it broken up nicely. Then drain it well, and throw the contents of the other pan in. I guess you could do some seasoning here... I didn't.

Throw it into a big bowl and let it cool just enough that it doesn't seem burning hot when you inevitably get it on your hands. Add in the following
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 425g container Ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesean

Then I used a potato masher to mix and mash everything together.  Once mixed thoroughly, cover and let it sit while you make the pasta.

Easy-peasy pasta - by hand 

  • 3 cups flour
  • 5 eggs
And really that's it, you might throw in a bit of olive oil if you were feeling inspired. The above makes enough pasta for like 1/3 of the filling, about 5-6 uses of my ravioli mold. I made two batches and thru the rest in my freezer.

Flour the heck out of your work surface, then make a pasta volcano.... using a fork start to beat up the eggs, slowly incorporating the flour in..... my volcano always explodes... and then you just go to town kneading it by hand until it is smooth, and even. Cover and let stand half an hour- 45min.

FYI: I maintain that if you make pasta by hand it is a zero calorie meal, all that kneading and cranking makes you sweat!


I have a hand turned pasta machine, take a reasonable section of the dough, and beat it flat by hand, then start on the widest setting start sheeting it until you get it down to the thinnest. You want even sheets, big enough to cover your ravioli mold.

Then throw a sheet down on your mold, use the press to push little pockets into it. Brush the whole thing with some egg, and put a heaping tablespoon of filling into each one. Brush the egg over the top sheet and lay it down. Press each one by hand, being sure to avoid air bubbles (this will make your rav's float from the get go, confusing cooking time... also make them likely to open when you cook them).  Aggressively rolling pin over the mold to seal and cut the ravs...remove scraps (this can be re-rolled) and turn out ravs onto parchment paper (may require smashing of the mold on your table).

You can then freeze the ravioli to eat another time, or cook them up right away. When you cook them (either from fresh or frozen) bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and throw them in. When they begin to float they are done! really quick just like any fresh pasta! be careful handling the cooked rav's they should be scooped from the water not dumped into a strainer as this might break them!

Did they taste like my nana's 

Yes! they were awesome! I also gave some away to my boss and his wife and they enjoyed them as well.

Plus there' s nothing better than having a freezer full of your own home made food, to pull out at a moment's notice!

Enjoy! Ciao!

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