…and when I say scratch, I mean from the very basics: no pasta machine, no rolling pin, and no ravioli stamp. How is that even possible, you ask? Magic, my friends.
Find out how to make whole wheat kabocha squash and goat cheese ravioli after the jump!
So here we go again. Another food item that I am terribly intimated to make: homemade pasta. Like pie crust, making homemade pasta can be a chore. In my opinion, it is time consuming and a lot of work with all the kneading involved (not recommended before a tough Tabata work out). Not only is it time consuming, I’m also very nervous that even after all the time you worked on it, it may not even turn out. So, fear of failure + half a carton of wasted eggs did not sound very appealing to me.
But it was my first try. And 2013 is the year where I stand to be fearless. And you know what? It totally worked out!!!
Because there are so many different pasta recipes with varying amounts of eggs or just yolks or with semolina flour or 00 flour, I asked one of the cooks at my work. He swore by Thomas Keller’s recipe. Deb from Smitten Kitchen also used his recipe when she made pasta so Thomas Keller it was.
And here come the problems. I’m going to let you know what I struggled with so you don’t have to:
– Read the recipe carefully. I used 6 yolks total instead of 7. Oops.
– When the recipe explicitly states to make a large enough well to hold all the eggs, please do so as you won’t have to scramble at the last minute and fold everything in frantically, risking a clumping dough.
– Knead, knead, knead. My dough never came out “shiny and silky” like Deb’s. Mine had cracks in it and no matter how long I kneaded it for (I kneaded it for 30 minutes!!!), it did not come out (don’t get discouraged yet though!). However, wondrous things happened after I let it rest.
– Apparently, for ravioli specifically or anything stuffed pasta, you are to use 00 flour which is much lighter than all purpose. Well, fuck me, because I decided to be healthy and use whole wheat flour (again, don’t get discouraged).
But it worked. Feel free to fill your ravioli with whatever you’d like. And whatever leftover scraps you have, cut them up and cook ’em! Fresh pasta is awesome. Just note that the cooking time will be much, much shorter in comparison to cooking dry pasta. Good luck!
Whole wheat kabocha squash and goat’s cheese ravioli (adapted from Thomas Keller’s French Laundry Cookbook)
What you’ll need:
– 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
– 5 large egg yolks
– 1 large egg
– 1 1/2 tsps olive oil
– 1 tbsp water
– Kabocha squash, roasted and pureed in a food processor, skin on
– Goat’s cheese
What you’ll need to do:
1. Make a large enough well to fit all the eggs, oil and water.
2. With your fingers or a fork (should’ve went the latter route), gently break the yolks by mixing them in a clockwise direction.
3. Slowly gather flour from the sides by folding it over.
4. Keep repeating this until the dough finally starts to come together.
5. Make the dough into a ball and knead in a forward direction with the palm of your hand. Repeat this process for atleast 15 minutes. There is no way to overknead this dough. You want a nice chew to the pasta and kneading it properly and long enough will help you achieve this.
6. When done, form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Leave this on the counter and let the dough rest for atleast 30 minutes to an hour (left mine for 2 hours and it was fine).
7. When ready, unwrap the pasta dough and with a rolling pin (or a glass in my case), roll out the dough until very thin and, if possible, into a rectangular shape. If you have a pasta machine, now would be the time to use it.
8. Now, there two ways to fill your ravioli: folding over the dough or cutting them individually (I did this and I think it probably took more time). If you are using the folding over method, place anywhere from a teaspoon to 1 1/2 tsps worth of both kabocha squash and goat’s cheese in a line, leaving room around it. Fold the dough over and cut with a ravioli stamp (or in my case, a square 2″ fondant cutter). If you are doing it the way I did it, cut squares through your dough and place on wax paper. Fill a square up with filling, wet the sides of it with water, take another square to place over top of it, and, with a fork, press down on all sides to seal it completely (I did this on both sides). Repeat desired process until all the squares are filled. Save remaining scraps to make fresh pasta.
9. If desired, cook immediately in boiling water – takes about 1 minute. Or, place on wax paper on a cookie sheet a place in your freezer. Once frozen, transfer to a ziploc bag for later use. Cooking time for frozen pasta is about 2 minutes.
10. Serve with olive oil, sage, and parmesan cheese. Makes 15 ravioli.