Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ravioli in White Cheese Sauce

Raviloi in White Cheese Sauce

We use an old, manual ravioli maker that we’ve had for years (see photos and video below) . . . probably circa 1970’s.  You roll out your dough, lay it over the ravioli maker, spoon in your filling into each “hole” then lay another layer of dough over the top.  Then you use a rolling pin to seal the edges.  It’s really a pretty cool little device, and we were happy to discover that they still sell them on Amazon and probably other kitchen stores.  If you don’t have one, you can also use one of those ravioli roller-cutter thingies (looks kind of like a pizza cutter but seals the edges as it cuts . . .  we used to have one but it broke, and we never liked it as much, anyway.)  Or you can just use a sharp knife to cut the dough and a fork to seal the edges.  But this little kitchen toy is a lot of fun, lasts forever, and is fairly inexpensive at around $13.  We highly recommend that you get one of these ravioli makers (and no, we are not getting paid to tell you this – it’s just that when something works this well for so long and is so simple to use . . . well you just need one, that’s all.)   This recipe serves about 6-8 (or more).
Our ravioli maker - see video below for instructions

For the Filling
1 recipe of duxelles (sautéed mushrooms & herbs – see our recipe this blog)
1 lb. lean ground beef
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tbl. fresh parsley, finely minced
¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
¼ cup Ricotta cheese
2 tbl. Parmesan cheese, grated
4 oz. Mozzarella cheese, finely grated
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the Pasta
2 & 2/3 cup pasta flour (you can use regular all purpose flour, but pasta flour is better)
5 eggs, lightly beaten (4 for the dough, 1 to seal the edges of the ravioli)
1 tsp. of salt
4 tsp. olive oil
5 tsp. water (4 for the pasta, 1 to seal the edges)
4 quarts water (for boiling pasta)
½ tsp. salt (for boiling pasta)
1 tbl. olive oil (for boiling pasta)

For the Cheese Sauce
2 tbl. butter
2 tbl. olive oil
½ medium onion, thinly sliced and quartered
1 large Cubanelle pepper (or other mild pepper), seeded and cut into 1” slices
2 large cloves of garlic, smashed & minced
8 medium mushrooms and stems (separately), peeled and thinly sliced
good pinch of ground white pepper
2 tbl. fresh chives, finely chopped
2 tbl. flour
2tbl. dry sherry
2 cups half-and-half cream
good dash of sea salt
1 cup Gouda cheese, shredded
1 cup Cheddar cheese, finely grated
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, finely grated
1 heaping tbl. sour cream
1 tbl Parmesan cheese

·         In a large bowl, mix together the duxelles, ground beef, garlic powder, black pepper, parsley, breadcrumbs, Ricotta, Parmesan and Mozarella cheeses, and the egg – then refrigerate until ready to use
·         In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt and whisk together well
·         In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, oil and 4 tsp. of the water together with a whisk
·         Form a “well” in the center of the flour and pour the egg mixture into the well
·        Mix together until well blended and a smooth dough forms.  If too dry add a little water.
·         On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough about 10 minutes, turning until smooth and elastic
·         Shape dough into a ball, cover in plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes
·         In a very small bowl, mix 1 egg and 1 tsp. of water together (this is to seal the edges of the pasta)
·         Unwrap the dough ball and dust lightly with flour, then cut the dough ball in half, and cut each half into thirds (you end up with 6 pieces about the same size)
·         On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a cigar shape, then flatten out with your palm
·         Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out (turning and dusting with flour often) until it’s big enough to fit over your ravioli maker (about 9” wide x 15” long)
·         Lay the dough out over the metal part of the ravioli maker (skip this step if using the hand-roller)
·         Put the plastic top over the dough, making indentations in the dough
·         Fill each indentation with the chilled beef filling mix (just fill to the top, not overstuffed)
·         Cover with a second piece of rolled out dough, 9”x15”
·         Roll a rolling pin over the top layer of dough, pressing down hard, which seals and separates the individual ravioli, then dump them out upside down onto a baking sheet
·         After stuffing and sealing the ravioli, place on a baking sheet and set aside to air-dry for about an hour (you can cook them without drying, but they seem to hold together better if you allow them to rest)
·         In a small saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil (for the sauce) over low until the butter is melted and hot
·         Add the onions, Cubanelle pepper and garlic and increase heat to medium him, and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally
·         Add the mushrooms and continue cooking and stirring for another 3 minutes
·         Remove from heat and add the white pepper and chives and mix well
·         Reduce heat to medium-low and add the flour and mix well, cooking and stirring about 5 minutes
·         Add the sherry, stir and scrape down the sides of the saucepan, and cook for about 1 minute
·         Add the half-and-half, salt and continue cooking, stirring constantly until it starts to thicken (about 10 minutes)
·         Remove from heat, add the Gouda, Cheddar and Mozzarella cheeses and sour cream and stir until well blended and smooth
·         Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot, and add ½ tsp. of salt to the hot water
·         Pour 1 tbl. olive oil on top of the water (do not stir)
·         Gently drop the ravioli into the boiling water 8 or 10 at a time, and stir ocassionally to prevent sticking
·         Reduce heat so water stays at a rapid simmer, and cook each batch about 12 minutes
·         With a slotted spoon, gently remove cooked ravioli to a deep baking dish (need to do in two layers)
·         Spoon the hot cheese sauce over each layer of ravioli and keep warm in the oven at 275° while you finish boiling the rest of the ravioli
·         Sprinkle with  Parmesan cheese
Bake at 350° until heated through, about 15 minutes

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