Eats, Shoots & Reads

Eats #25: Stress Stress Stress…

Ingredients: [Pasta Dough] 600g tipo 00 flour, 6 large eggs. [Other] 250g ricotta cheese, nutmeg, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, 12 large egg yolks, butter, parmesan cheese.

Difficulty: 5/5
Rating: 4/5

Make a basic pasta dough by mixing the flour and 6 eggs until it forms a ball. Knead the dough until silky and smooth and then wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

While the dough is resting mix the ricotta cheese with a pinch on nutmeg and season with sea salt and black pepper.

Roll out the dough into thin, 3″ x 6″ rectangles and place a spoonful of ricotta mix at one end. Create a well in the ricotta mix and separate an egg yolk and place it in the well.

Use water to seal the edges of the ravioli and fold in half, being careful not to break the egg yolk. Cut with a pasta cutter and put to one side – repeat this process 12 times.

Once prepared cook the ravioli in salted boiling water until the egg yolk feels slightly firm to the touch. Remove from the water and leave to drain. Finally create a sauce using butter and some of the starchy pasta water and pour over the ravioli – finish with parmesan cheese and serve!

Review

I was really excited about the prospect of giving this recipe a go. I’ve never made pasta before and always, always fancied having a go, not least because it involves a funky kitchen gadget.

In the end I opted for my trusty rolling pin as a pasta machine seemed like an extravagance for one recipe – in hindsight that was a mistake. A rolling pin does the job but it’s really difficult to get the pasta thin enough for ravioli and I think ultimately altered the taste.

This was one the most challenging recipes so far. The first challenge was finding tipo 00 flour… Morrisons let me down, Wally’s deli in Cardiff had none – I was beginning to worry. In the end ASDA of all places came to my rescue and I could finally focus on the task at hand.

Making the dough was supposed to be easy, the book shows a lovely picture of a mound of flour and a happy chef mixing in the eggs to create a lovely pasta dough. My experience was a little more disastrous… I made a mound of flour, poured on my eggs and started to combine and then before I could stop them my eggs ran off my chopping board, all over the worktop and all over the kettle. I managed to rescue the eggs and finally mixed the ingredients together to form a dough.

This is definitely one of the messiest recipes I’ve done this year and next time I think I’ll follow the advice of the recipe book and use a food processor!

Once I mastered the dough the next part was assembly. I was really shocked at the amount of eggs needed for the recipe. 6 in the dough, another 12 yolks in the ravioli… I “hope” my cholesterol level has recovered since the recipe!

Although challenging to put together I was really pleased with myself and I managed to make all 12 ravioli (which looked awesome) without breaking a single egg – yay me!

Although a REALLY challenging recipe this dish pushed me and has given me new techniques – which ultimately is the point of my Eats, Shoots & Reads challenge.

The final product was really tasty, the egg was oozy and gooey and really creamy and rich. The pasta (although a little thick in places) was really tasty and so much nicer than shop bought.

If I draw a pasta recipe again I think I’ll definitely invest in a pasta machine as getting supper thin pasta will make life easier and really improve the taste. I’m a definitely a convert to home made pasta, that’s not to say I won’t buy fresh or dried pasta in the future but every now and then I think it’s worth the effort – why not give it a go!

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