From the Archives: Homemade Ravioli with Sorrel Pesto Filling
It seems (as I scramble with so many outdoor chores and professional commitments right now) that every April must be a fairly stressful month for me. So I went into the archives to see what I was cooking last year this time and re-discovered this recipe, which instantly flashed a message in my brain that said “oh my, that was really good!” Since there have been so many new readers to SFTF the past month or two, I thought it might be good to bring this post back up to the forefront, giving you something tasty and me a short reprieve until I concoct a new recipe for you this weekend.
From the Archives
It’s funny the things we do when we’re under stress from an out-of-control to-do list. Some people have a glass of wine. Others go for a run. Still others take a long soak in the tub. And some just buckled down and get things done. The latter is usually my course of action. But I do have a procrastinating streak in me on occasion. I think I reached a new low…or high…depending on your perspective.
You see, in the midst of a huge project deadline and studying for an intimidating final exam and putting plans in place for something exciting that I’ll tell you about soon, I decided that it was the perfect time to…make my very first batch of homemade pasta. Not just plain old noodles either, but Homemade Ravioli with Sorrel Mint Pesto.
I’m not exactly sure why I never attempted homemade pasta before. Or, for that matter, why I suddenly decided to make it this week. Anyway, I guess I figured it wasn’t worth the time if I didn’t have one of those sleek silver stainless steel pasta makers to roll out the dough to perfection. Boy, was I wrong!
Inspired by the new sorrel and mint leaves glowing that alluring shade of fresh spring green in a containers on my deck and the last cloves of local garlic that have somehow made it through the winter, I knew I needed to revisit the sorrel pesto recipe I made ages ago and it seemed like a tasty filling for ravioli. I’m so glad I got the kick in the pants I needed to make pasta dough – it’s the easiest and most wonderful dough to work with that I’ve ever made.
It was a relative breeze to roll out thin (with the assistance of my trusty pastry scraper to get it to come away from the counter once the filling was in place). Maybe it was the procrastinator in me getting a kick out of putting off my bigger priorities, but I had a ton of fun making these ravioli! Not a single smidgeon of the frustration I expected to encounter on my first homemade pasta attempt.
Here’s the part I’m really rather embarrassed to admit. Once I made these super-fresh-from-scratch-dough-delights, I went ahead and fried half of them(the other half were respectfully boiled and topped with marinara). That’s right – I fried my ravioli! Please tell me I’m not alone in my fried ravioli cravings… surely someone else has had this Italian street food treat. If you haven’t, you should put it on the top of your to-do list right away!
So tell me, what crazy things do you do when you’re under pressure?
Homemade Ravioli with Sorrel-Mint Pesto
A Straight from the Farm Original
*You can just make the filling and use it like you would any other pesto for a sauce or a spread. Very bright flavor that compliments robust breads and pastas.
3/4 C. flour
1 large egg
1 generous pinch of salt
1 T. water
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until loose crumbs form. Whirl processor for another 30 seconds or so and you should have a lovely ball of pasta dough. If dough isn’t forming a ball or you can still see lots of flour, add one drop of water at a time until you have a nice firm ball that isn’t sticky. Flour a little bit of countertop and set dough ball under an inverted bowl to rest for 1 hour.
1 bunch sorrel (about 2 cups when roughly chopped)
1 sprig of fresh mint
3 large cloves of garlic
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 C. freshly grated parmasen cheese
2 T. pine nuts
2 T. chopped pecans
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth and pieces of nuts are no longer visible. Set aside until you are ready to make the ravioli.
Cut pasta dough into 2 pieces and flatten each piece into a rough rectangle. Work with one piece and leave the other cover with the inverted large bowl.
If you have a pasta machine, by all means use it. I don’t have one so I rolled mine by hand. Lightly flour a countertop and roll out the dough like a pie crust, trying to keep it as rectangular as possible. Keep rolling until it’s a thin as you can possibly get it. Don’t forget to turn your dough every few rolls to keep it from sticking to the counter. Repeat with second piece of dough.
Line a large shallow baking pan with a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and dust towel with flour and set aside.
Put one sheet of dough on the floured counter and drop mounds (a generous teaspoon or so) of filling 1 1/2 inches apart in a row down center of one half of the sheet. Brush egg wash (1 egg white whisked with 2 teaspoons of water) around each mound, then fold other half of sheet over filling. Press down firmly around each mound, forcing out air. Cut pasta with a pasta cutter or sharp knife into 3-inch squares. Arrange ravioli in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Make more ravioli with remaining pasta dough and remaining filling.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add ravioli, carefully stirring to separate, and, adjust heat to keep water at a gentle boil. Cook until just tender, about 5-6 minutes.
Serve with any desired sauce, though I like mine with just a little drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a generous topping of fresh parm. Or, as I mentioned above, I am very naughty and do this with my ravioli by times.
(makes 10-12 ravioli)