Nothing beats the anticipation of a plate of freshly made raviolis with ricotta cheese or meat filling!
Raviolis are just one of the classic Italian filled pastas that you should attempt to master!
I just look at that picture and fear comes into my mind, the fear that my brother will get more than me! We all waited for the call to the table!
There were so many Raviolis on the bed that we had to hang up our coats! The kitchen filled with family all catching up on what's new with who and sharing stories of past times.
The aroma of a pot of Gravy cooking on the stove, fresh basil growing in the window in tomato cans and the faint hint of gas from an old space heater in the kitchen.
The table was set with a mix match of glasses plastic, metal and cut crystal. The table was covered in special linen and the kids table in newspaper! Homemade Wine on the table in gallons!
It is amazing how food can conjure such imagery! I can just taste them now!
Now that you have the following recipes you are now ready to make Ravioli alla Ricotta!
First make your sauce (Gravy) you may do this in advance and freeze it till you are ready.
Make your Ricotta Cheese Filling the night before if possible.
On Ravioli day make your Pasta and roll it into sheets. You will also need your Ricotta Cheese Filling.
Using a pastry bag or tablespoon place 1 Tbsp Cheese Ricotta Filling onto the top of the sheeted Fresh Egg Pasta.
Using egg wash (1 lg egg with 1 tbsp water beaten) and a pastry brush, wash the Pasta in between the portions of Ricotta Cheese Filling.
You may fold over the sheet on top of the filling or you may place another sheet right on top be sure it is large enough to cover the filling.
Using your floured fingers press around the Ricotta mounds sealing and removing air at the same time.
Once complete use your fluted pastry cutter to cut between where the egg wash was was applied and remove any excess Pasta.
Using an offset spatula lift the completed Raviolis and place them onto a lightly floured wax-paper or towel, do not stack them on top of each other.
Continue rolling out Pasta and repeating the process. You may also use the tines of a fork to assure the edges are sealed.
Let the Ravioli rest for 20 minutes before boiling or freeze for later, but why wait you know you want to eat them!
Be sure you use plenty of salted boiling water to cook your Ravioli and do not overload the pot.
Once the Ravioli are floating this is a good sign for you to pinch the edges to see if they are cooked enough. The Pasta should give to your pinch and not be hard. I can't help myself, I eat one to be sure!
You may use a slotted spoon or strainer to remove your Ravioli from the pot, draining all the water, then plate.
I like to boil about 2 dozen strain them, never rinse them, toss with a little olive oil and cover with "Gravy" and shaved Parmesan Cheese, chopped Italian Parsley and torn Fresh Basil.
Once you master this technique you will be able to move on to other fillings! I included a video from an Italian Cooking class as well!