I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that I have been dreaming about making ravioli for weeks now! I was craving it so badly, that I finally had to schedule a full day in my diary to make it! Pasta was always one of my favorite foods growing up. There’s something just so comforting about a big bowl of creamy carbs… I hardly ever eat it at home now, and usually just order it when I’m in an Italian restaurant.
A couple of Australian friends left me a pasta maker when they left Vancouver. I have been meaning to use it for the longest time, but never quite got round to it. I was worried that it would be a bit of a mission to use, but it was surprisingly super easy.
The hardest part was actually finding veal. After searching many supermarkets, and calling a few butchers, I found some at The Butcher in Kitsilano. They come in 1 pound frozen bags. The Butcher also sells biltong and droëwors; South African beef jerky and pepperoni sticks. They are definitely worth trying if you’ve never had them. Sooo tasty!
You just have to remember to flour as you go. I’ve included two sauces below – both very simple. I wanted this to be a very elegant dish, not overly heavy and coma inducing.
Whole Wheat Pasta Dough
3 cups whole wheat flour
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons water
1 pound ground veal
4 cups coarsely chopped arugula
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 ½ large shallots – minced/ finely diced
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Roughly ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Olive Oil Sauce
Cherry Tomato Sauce
Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
- Alright dough time! Sift your whole wheat flour over a flat surface and make a well in the middle for all the other ingredients. Make sure the walls are high so nothing escapes.
- In a bowl add your eggs, salt and water and whisk together using a fork. When all the ingredients are mixed, add them to the center of the flour.
- Using your fingers or a fork, slowly start working the flour into the center, being very careful not to break the walls and causing a huge accident. This process makes my heart beat so fast.
- Knead the remaining flour into the mixture with your hands to form a dough. You can add more water drop by drop if the dough is too dry. It should be firm and not sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes until it gets a bit elastic and smooth.
- Roll the dough into a ball and cover it with an inverted bowl for an hour. This will make rolling the dough much much easier.
- While that’s resting, let’s make the filling. In a pan, add a spray of oil, your shallots, garlic, veal, salt and pepper. Cook until the meat has cooked all the way through.
- Working in batches – or all once depending on the size of your food processor, purée the meat mixture until it comes together like a paste. If the mixture is too thick, add a tiny bit of olive oil to it. You want the meat to be firm so you can easily make balls out of it. When done set this aside. I had to omit this step as I sadly don’t own one.
- In the same pan add your arugula. Make sure to have washed and coarsely chopped it first. Once it’s cooked stir it into the meat mixture.
- Once the dough is ready it is time to start rolling it! Divide the dough into three pieces. Cover two under the bowl.
- Grab your first piece and roll it into a rough rectangle. Grab your pasta machine and set in on the widest setting.
- Dust the dough rectangle with flour and feed it through the machine. Fold it in half and feed through again – repeat this 8 times. Dust with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Turn your dial to the next smaller setting and feed your dough through. You do not need to fold the dough anymore. Continue feeding the dough through the settings until you reach the last setting.
- Place the dough on a floured surface and put a dollop, about 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon in size on one side of the dough about 2cm away from the edge – use pictures for reference. Continue placing the mixture on the dough, at least 1 ½ inches apart. Add a shaving of parmesan to the top of each dollop around 1/2 teaspoon in size. I made mine much further apart, as I love seeing huge pieces of ravioli.
- When you’ve finished filling up your dough, grab a glass of water and using your fingers, wet the area around each mound as well as the bottom edge of the rectangle, the sides and in between each soon to be piece of ravioli. You don’t want too much water, just enough so the dough is moist again.
- Fold the rectangle in half over the filling and press the folded side down first. You want to make sure the open sides are open for as long as possible so you don’t trap any air inside.
- Starting at one end, press the sides down making sure to get rid of all the trapped air. Finally press along the open edge and seal it shut. Dust with flour on top and bottom and set aside. You can never have too much flour, but you can definitely have too little. Don’t let these bad boys stick to your table.
- Continue this process with the rest of the dough. I made one giant ravioli with what I had left – my prized ravioli – it remains to be eaten.
- When you are finished, cut your ravioli into squares. You can cook these straight away (3 -5 mins in boiling water) or freeze in an air tight container – if you have floured them enough they won’t stick to each other.
And you are done! Did that take as long as you thought it would?
For the sauce if you choose to go with the olive oil – whisk it with the lemon (you can mix to taste) and pour it on top of your ravioli. Add cracked pepper and parmesan cheese on top. If you want to use the cherry tomato sauce, quarter each one and add to a pot to cook down with a little bit of water and olive oil. Again serve with cracked pepper and parmesano.
My mouth is actually watering as I type this….
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