There is nothing like homemade pasta. Together we braved homemade ravioli and succeeded! This recipe is straightforward but requires a lot of hands-on time. That makes this the perfect Sunday afternoon project to do with your family. Grab your aprons and a cup of coffee and prepare for a lazy afternoon of pasta magic.
My mom is visiting from New York this week. We share the same love for cooking and eating, except she eats like a mouse and I eat like a hog. My thighs show the difference. She is always willing to be my hand model, so that makes every cooking experience a photo-op. My husband gets the best of it all, he eats like a king while we whip of all kinds of treats.
While we mixed the eggs in the dough, we reminisced about how Grandma refused to use modern cooking methods to make pasta. My mom bought her a beautiful Kitchen Aid stand mixer to ease her weary little hands. But that tough cookie REFUSED to use it. She kneaded the dough with her beautiful 90 year old hands and was happy about every second. We, on the other hand, were upset that my stand mixer went kaput.
Luckily, my birthday is tomorrow and mom already told me that she bought me a replacement Kitchen Aid stand mixer…but this one is an upgrade.
So we kneaded and kneaded until the dough was as soft and supple as a baby’s bottom.
While those babies rested, we prepped the ricotta mixture. The filling was spooned into pastry bags to make perfectly sized little dollops of cheesy goodness. The problem? Mozzarella was added to the filling and the creamy lumps would not squeeze through the fitted nozzle. So we took off the metal nozzle and used the pastry bag hole as our guide. Improvise.
I taught mom how to use my pasta machine and she became a pro in no time. Each turn of the dial created thin sheets of magic. Once we could see our fingers through the dough, we stopped rolling.
Each sheet of pasta was trimmed into perfect rectangles and then cut in half for the top/bottom of the ravioli. We portioned out dollops of ricotta mixture, spread an egg wash onto the surface and then placed a sheet on top. After pressing the pieces of dough together, a ravioli wheel was used to cut each pillow into squares. A knife would do the trick as well.
The perks of homemade pasta is that it’s decadent and filling and it does not need too much boiling time. Because the pasta is so thin, about 2-3 minutes is the perfect aldente duration.
We made a white wine sauce with sausage, sage and swiss chard, but a tomato sauce or alfredo would be incredible with these too. Get Creative!
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
- semolina, for dusting
- 1 pound whole milk ricotta, drained from liquids
- handful parsley, chopped
- handful basil, chopped
- 1 c. grated italian cheese, like parmesan or pecorino romano
- 1/2 c. fresh mozzarella, chopped
- 1 egg
- dash of nutmeg
- salt/pepper to taste
White Wine Sauce
- 5 sausage links, removed from casing
- 1 shallot, diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 5-6 sage leaves, chopped
- 1 c. white wine
- 1 c. chicken broth
- 1/4 c. heavy cream
- 1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed and chopped
- 1 egg + 1 tablespoons water, mixed
- Pour flour onto clean surface and make a well with your index finger. Crack eggs inside well. Add oil and salt to eggs. Use a fork to incorporate flour into eggs, continue until shaggy dough forms.
- Knead with dough either in a stand mixer + hook attachment or by hand (10 minutes) until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rest at least 30 minutes.
Use a pasta machine or rolling pin to smooth the dough until sheets are thin enough to see through.
Pasta Machine Directions: Set pasta maker to thickest setting; dust lightly with cornmeal. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time and keeping remaining dough wrapped in plastic as you work, flatten dough into a narrow rectangle (no wider than mouth of machine); pass through rollers. Fold dough as needed to fit and roll again. Repeat without folding, adjusting machine to thinner settings after every pass and dusting with semolina if sticky.
- Lightly dust work surface with semolina. Cut sheets of pasta dough into neat rectangles, removing shaggy uneven edges. Cut the rectangles in half, down the center vertically.
- Mix all ricotta ingredients in a mixing bowl. Spoon into a pastry bag (or use a spoon) and pipe quarter sized dollops about an inch apart on one of the rectangle pasta sheets.
- Brush egg wash onto all surfaces of the pasta dough sheet. Lay the second rectangle on top. Press both pasta sheets together, pushing outwards to remove any air bubbles. Seal all areas around the ricotta with your fingers. Cut out squares of raviolis with a pasta wheel or a knife. The ricotta should be in the center of every square.
- Boil a pot of salted water. Gently drop about 4-5 raviolis in at a time. Stir to avoid sticking. Boil 2-3 minutes, until they float to the top. Taste test to check doneness. Set aside.
- Sauce: Sauté sausage until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Remove from the pan. Add some oil to the pan with shallots, sage and garlic. Sauté on medium heat about 3-5 minutes, until soft. Add sausage back to pan. Deglaze pan with wine, scraping all bits from bottom of pan. Let simmer until all alcohol is evaporated, 3-5 minutes. Add chicken broth, let simmer for 8 minutes. Add heavy cream, let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Toss is swiss chard and let it wilt, 2-3 minutes. Add raviolis to the pan and swirl around to coat with sauce (2-3 minutes).
- Serve with sauce, topped with parsley, cooked sage and a sprinkle of grated cheese.