It's funny how things change: even a simple thing like how to make pasta can change. I grew up watching the women in my family make homemade pasta; using the "well method" to form the dough. They would make a well with the flour; cracking one egg per person (plus one for company), into the center. And then would slowly beat the eggs with a fork; incorporated the flour until it all came together. The dreaded long kneading period was next and eventually you had pasta dough.
This method was all I'd known for years and it worked. But things change and somewhere along the way I decided there must be an easier more efficient way to make pasta. So I searched the internet (cause that's what I do) and I learned how to make it in a food processor; eliminating the well and letting the pasta machine do all the kneading.
I like doing it this way...manly because it's super easy and because it yields a nice silky smooth dough...which can be made thinner by just running it through the pasta machine a little longer. It's the perfect dough for all shapes of pasta including ravioli.
Speaking of ravioli, that's what this post is supposed to be about, this past weekend a friend and I decided it would be nice to make dinner for our other halfs. So while the boys were watching a movie us girls were rolling, filling and cutting ravioli.
We decided to do artichoke ravioli in a light butter sage sauce; making it easy by using frozen artichoke hearts instead of fresh. The filling was a nice mix of artichoke hearts and ricotta cheese with a sprinkling of nutmeg and oregano. Topped with the butter sage sauce they were a huge hit.
Frozen artichoke hearts can be hard to find....I was able to get mine at Whole Foods. Interested in winning a $25 Whole Foods Gift card...see details below.
Artichoke Ravioli with Butter Sage Sauce
1 1/2 pounds frozen artichoke hearts
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 large garlic clove, gently smashed and peeled
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 cups flour
ice cold water as needed
Place all flour in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times. Add eggs and pulse until dough forms around blade. Water may be added at this point to help dough come together. Take out and knead slightly with hands to form a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.
Meanwhile defrost artichoke hearts and place in a bowl of a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add Parmigiano-Reggiano, ricotta, egg, oregano, parsley, crushed garlic, salt, nutmeg and generous grinding of pepper; stir to combine.
Divide pasta dough into four pieces. Cover 3 pieces with plastic wrap. Flatten dough so that it will fit through the rollers of the pasta machine. Set rollers of pasta machine at the widest setting, then feed pasta through rollers 6 times, folding and turning pasta until it is smooth and the width of the machine. Decrease the setting one notch and roll through 6 more times. Decrease once again and roll 3 times. Continue rolling until the pasta is at your desired thickness.
Once done rolling lay pasta sheet on a lightly floured work surface with the long side facing you; cut sheet, lengthwise, in half. Starting from the left end of 1 strip of dough, about 2 inches from short edge, put about 1 packed teaspoon filling onto dough. Continue placing filling about 1 inch apart.
Using a pastry brush....lightly brush across bottom and sides of dough with water. Fold top of dough over filling pressing along the wet edges. Using a ravioli cutter, cut pasta sheet between dots of filling. Gently press edges to seal.
Transfer ravioli to a lightly floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Keep ravioli covered with a clean dishtowel until ready to cook. (The ravioli can be prepared and frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze freshly made ravioli, freeze them first on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer ravioli to well-sealed, airtight plastic freezer bags and keep frozen until ready to cook. Do not defrost before cooking.)
Cook pasta in boiling water until just about done... finish cooking in butter sage sauce.
Butter Sage Sauce
1½ sticks of butter, or more to taste
10 fresh whole sage leaves
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
hot water, from the pasta-cooking pot
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
Melt the butter in the pan over medium heat, lay in the sage leaves and heat until the butter is sizzling gently. Toast the leaves for 1 minute or so.
Ladle in 1 cup boiling pasta water; stir the sauce and simmer for about 2 minutes and reduce liquid by half before adding pasta. Grind the black pepper directly into the sauce. Keep the sauce hot over very low heat; return to a simmer just before adding pasta
Finish cooked pasta and sauce in the skillet. Off the heat, toss in the cheese just before serving.
****Whole Foods Gift Card Give Away****
Want to win a gift card?
It's simple: Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you would buy at Whole Foods if you win.
Want additional entries:
1. friend me on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you did or that you already are
2. Like Whole Foods on Facebook also leaving a comment here
3. Tweet about the contest on Twitter and link to me
4. Follow me on Pinterest and leave a comment on this post
5. Follow me on Instagram...also leaving a comment here.
Contest ends midnight 2/28/2013