Sunday, March 27, 2011

Homemade artichoke ravioli

After all this posting frenzy by David, I felt compelled to give my modest contribution... just one recipe - for now! Ravioli are actually not that difficult to make, just a bit time-consuming (but totally worth it!). The preparation is quicker if you have a pasta machine, but if you don't, this give you an idea of how to roll the pasta by hand.

This time I decided to make an artichoke filling.

This recipe will serve 2-3 people (and it took me about an hour and a half from start to end).

For the filling I used:
4 artichokes (the smaller, the better, and with tight leaves)
some onion, diced
2 generous tbsp of ricotta
salt, pepper

First, I removed the outermost and thicker leaves and cut off the top of each artichoke, then I cut them in 2 and removed the choke (which will not be there if you use small artichokes).
I dropped them in water with lemon juice to prevent them from turning black.
Then I sliced them, and sauteed them together with the onion, some white wine, salt and pepper until tender.

At that point, I pureed the artichokes with the ricotta to obtain a relatively smooth cream.

For the dough you'll need :
200 g all-purpose flour
2 eggs (better if at room temperature)
a little water

You have to make a well in the flour, add the eggs and mix them into the flour with a fork until they are completely blended.
When the dough becomes more consistent, knead the mixture with your hands until it is completely homogeneous. If too dry, add some water, if too sticky add some flour.
"A good dough should never stick to your fingers!" says the instruction booklet of my pasta machine.

And now, the rolling out!

Cut out a piece of dough and cover the rest with a wet cloth.
Roll out the dough on setting number 1 of a pasta machine, three times, folding in thirds between each roll. Then roll through settings 2-9.

Try to match the pasta sheets as closely as possible by size.
Drop spoonfuls of filling on one sheet, leaving at least 1 1/2" between them. place another sheet on top and carefully press out the air around each mound.
Seal and cut between the ravioli (with a knife or a pasta cutter), then place them on a floured plate or sheet. Apparently it's better not to refrigerate them.
Repeat with each dough section until you're out of filling.

Cook the ravioli for 5-6 min in abundant, salted water. Since they are delicate, it's better to use a slotted spoon to remove them into a colander once they're ready.
You can serve them with butter, brown butter and sage, or a light tomato sauce. And parmesan, if you like it.

PS: I also tried a butternut squash filling for Thanksgiving, which was much appreciated!

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