Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Homemade Ravioli with Raviolamp

Raviolamp,the new arrival in our kitchen has been earning her keep lately. It took some getting used to her shiny aluminium surface which would cause much sticking when it came into contact with the soft pasta dough, but I think the daughters and I are finally getting the hang of making ravioli this way. And talk about a time-saver! We can roll a batch of dough out and fill and press the squares for our family of five in under an hour! I wouldn't like to think how long we might be there for otherwise...

See what I mean about her shiny exterior?
Being complete ignoramuses when it came to pasta making, the first few batches were made with regular bakers flour, which was fine for our purpose. That is, until I stumbled across this offering at the supermarket recently:

Tasy flour really is very tasty!
We put it to use in a batch of dough over the weekend and let me say, it was the nicest pasta I think I have ever had. The flour really does make a difference. This particular flour is made from Australian wheat, and has a much coarser grain than baking flour. It cooks up beautifully...smooth and silky. Of course, using homegrown eggs makes the whole process much more fun, too!

For our family (2A, 3c), I have found that 400g flour, 4 eggs and 2 tsp salt are just enough quantities. We could probably do with slightly more, but as it is still such a time consuming exercise, I like to make just enough ravioli so there's no wastage and then serve garlic bread alongside, and if the 10 year old has made a dessert, then all the better!

This particular day we tried a beef ravioli, as that is what seems to be most popular in our house. We simply mixed up 500g lean minced beef, 1 finely grated onion, some chopped parsely and salt and pepper. A little bit of filling goes such a long way with ravioli, we didn't end up using all of it and froze the remainder for another day.

After rolling the dough to the thinnest setting on the pasta machine, it was then floured liberally on one side and laid floured side down into Raviolamp, (which had also recieved a sprinkling of flour - bakers, not "Tasty"). Tiny teaspoons were added to Raviolamp's crevices and molded into shape. It was a challenge not to put too much in, but the saying "Less is More" is so true, if they are too big they just end up bursting open in the cooking pot.


Instead of brushing the dough with water, I've been using a spray bottle - much easier, better coverage and faster. The second sheet of dough was placed on top and then it was a simple matter of squeezing out all of the airbubbles first, starting from the center and working outwards and then rolling the dough to cut the shapes:


If Raviolamp has been dusted well, the squares will pop out easily. If she hasn't received an adequate flouring, you'll be there for 10 minutes picking all the squares out with a skewer..*sigh*.
When it comes to flour and Raviolamp...More really is better! It can always be dusted off before cooking or freezing. Any stubborn squares can be seperated with a knife or pastry wheel.


We like a simple napoli sauce with our ravioli - just one tin of tomatoes cooked down with some garlic and fresh oregano (and basil, if it's around), from the garden. And plenty of parmesan. Don't skimp on the parmesan!


Raviolamp will be sticking around for a while. She has changed our pasta ways...instead of merely eating it, we are now appreciating it. The only trouble is, I bought Raviolamp with the intention of sending my daughters' off to school with a thermos full of her delicious squares..but there never seems to be any left, they get eaten up so quickly!

Yum, yum!

14 comments:

  1. Great post!! I have one of these little gizmo's too - normally I don't 'buy' into the whole kitchen gadget thing, but isn't it GREAT! so much better than the store bought manky dry ravioli!

    We're not meat eaters -our fav is pumpkin and fetta with a sage butter sauce.

    Divine!
    xB

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  2. Oh, yay! Another ravioli maker! It's sooo much nicer than the manky variety. One could never go back. Oooh, I like the sound of your pumpkin filling and sage butter sauce, Bianca. I do have one large pumpkin left from the garden looking for a use....this sounds delicious! :o)

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  3. I need to get one of those!!!

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  4. Hi
    Where can one of these be purchased? Really enjoy your blog.
    Thanks
    Nicole

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  5. Perfect! I wish we did better at pasta making, but we can never seem to get it as smooth as the handmade pasta we can buy around these parts (inner west Sydney is little Italy). We actually bought the whole kit, including a ravioli maker attachment for the roller, but it just doesn't get much bench time. Must revisit!

    The continental flour is great stuff - we also use it for bechamel sauces - works brilliantly.

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  6. They're lots of fun, LJ!

    Nicole, I bought this one from my local kitchenware shop...it was about $28 on sale, usually $39. :o)

    Oh, yes, I saw the ravioli attachment option for the rollers just recently, Celia. This looks very efficient. Lucky you! I would love to play with one....
    Will have to try the continental flour in the bechamel sauce..:o)

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  7. Ooh lovely ! I had one of those years ago but I don't think we had much success. I'd love to try again having read your post... :)

    I wonder if fine semolina would be good for dusting the raviolamp, it's what I use to move dough around on and it brushes off the dough quite easily. I am sure I have seen it used in the old deli in Soho to separate layers of fresh ravioli.

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  8. Hmmm, you may well be on to something there, Joanna. I think I will give it a go next time to see how it goes. Authentic delis are such great places for pointers, arent they! Thanks :o)

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  9. (Oh hurray! Just delete that last testing one. Haven't been able to comment for the last 2 days for some reason)
    Your ravioli looks lovely. To do all of that in under an hour makes it so worth it. Kicks it over the bought stuff.
    When ever we make pasta I only use semolina (fine), I like the consistency and the texture.

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  10. The time-saving factor is a big thing for us, Brydie! The daughter had a pasta day at school yesterday (guess who got roped into helping..ahh!), and with the leftover dough I whipped up a batch of ravioli for dinner last night after school... I would NEVER have contemplated this in the past, absolutley no way! It was a great purchase :o)

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  11. I really want one of these, will have to check out our local kitchen store tomorrow.

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  12. Celia, did you cook the mince first?
    Cheers Nicole S

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  13. They take a bit of getting used to, but you'll be a pro in no time at all, Sue! :o)

    Hi Nicole. We didn't cook our mince first, the ravioli contain such tiny amounts of filling that they cook virtually instaneously in the pot - make sure it reaches a full rolling boil and keep it there for a couple of minutes and then cut one in half to be sure. Christine :o)

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  14. Really useful - we just bought the ravioli press but put too much filling in and not enough flour on the pasta so this time didn't work at all! But we've read your advice - fingers crossed next time we'll put smaller amounts in and should be fine

    Thanks !

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