Sunday, December 17, 2006

Ravioli di magro al ragu'

The recipe for ravioli is a mixture of two recipes that I found on this nice cookbook that my father gave me: 'Cucina di tradizione del Piemonte, ricettario a fumetti' (I already cited this book a few other times). In particular, I used the dough for 'Agnolotti alla piemontese' and the filling for 'Cannelloni di magro'. When we say 'di magro' (lean) we mean that the pasta is filled with cheese and vegetables instead of meat (not sure if it's really leaner.. :) ). So instead of making cannelloni (sort of rolled lasagne) I made agnolotti filled with this non-meaty stuffing, and then I decided that to be really Piemontesi, there should be some meat somewhere, and thus the idea of serving them with ragu'.
So here is the recipe with pictures.

Pasta dough:
800 g (6 and 2/3 cups) white flour
3 eggs
2 tsp olive oil
warm water
1 1/2 cups boiled spinach
1 lb ricotta
1 egg
1 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 cup parmesan
1 tsp nutmeg
For the pasta: mix the flour and the eggs and the oil, and add as much water as necessary to have a workable dough. Knead for at least 10 min. This was _very_ hard. No comparison with the bread dough.. there's no yeast here, and the dough stays hard. It becomes nicely elastic after a while, but it's a good workout, be aware. Let it rest for 10 minutes and then roll down the dough until it's _really_ thin. There's your second part of working out. It's supposed to be so thin that you should be able to read a newspaper through it. Mine wasn't _as_ thin, but it was pretty thin. It takes another pound of sweat..
For the filling: mix all the ingredients, add a little salt.
Place some filling on the dough..
...then fold the dough on top, and cut into squares.
Fold the borders so the filling doesn't come out during the cooking.
Bring some water to boil, add salt to it, and then throw the agnolotti in it. They take about 10 minutes to cook (mine were pretty big).
To serve, mix with ragu sauce (see previous post for recipe) and add some grated parmesan on top.
I'm telling you, they were _really_ good but _really_ laborious to prepare. I think if I make them next time, I'll have some tools like a pasta machine to mix and spread the dough and some ravioli machine to cut them :) - although, then I won't feel the same sense of accomplishment as I did this time :)

Note: after getting more experience with ravioli making, I understand I should not have folded the borders, but just stuck them together with some water. See here for a better description on how to shape ravioli.

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