It continues to be a long cold winter in our part of the world, which has many of us craving comfort food. And what better way to banish the winter blahs than with a bowl of made-from-scratch pasta?
This month, Elm Hurst Inn & Spa executive chef, Michael Davies, shares his recipe for Ravioli. So pour yourself a glass of vino and take a culinary trip to Italy…..
The Art of Making Ravioli
Basic Standard Pasta Dough
To make about 1 ½ pounds fresh pasta
3 -4 cups flour
4 whole eggs
2 tbsp. olive oil
Mound 3 cups of flour on a smooth work surface. Make a well in the centre, break eggs into it.
Add a generous pinch of salt and olive oil. Make batter by breaking eggs in centre and slowly adding flour to centre until all the liquid is incorporated to form dough. Dough should be fairly stiff but malleable.
Knead dough for ten minutes and divide into 2 fist size pieces. Wrap in saran wrap and let rest in refrigerator for 1 hr.
To roll by machine follow manufactures specs on rolling the dough for thin sheets for ravioli.
Ricotta Cheese and Spinach Filling
14 oz. ricotta cheese
1 lb. spinach parboiled for 3mins. drained, squeezed dry and finely chopped
10 oz. arugula lettuce finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, parboiled drained and finely chopped
5-10 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
5-10 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped salt
Mix ricotta cheese with all the greens, season with salt.
Roll out the dough as thin as possible, cut into rectangles about 1 ¼ by 1 ½ inches.Place a little stuffing mixture on each rectangle. Fold rectangle over and pinch the edges together.
Poach the ravioli in boiling water with a couple pinches of salt for about five minutes.Drain serve with the tomato sauce and the grated cheese on top.
Or, if you’re short on time, buy some good-quality fresh pasta / ravioli at your local specialty food store and just whip up the following tomato sauce!
Basic Tomato Sauce
Makes about 1 ¼ cups sauce
6 medium sized very ripe tomatoes quartered
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
1 onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1 tbsp. basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 or 2 tsp. sugar
Sweat onion, garlic in butter, add tomatoes bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and crush tomato with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
Puree tomatoes using a hand blender, add fresh herbs, season with salt and pepper.Add sugar if needed.
We made this wonderful dish for a Valentines Day. It’s a great dish for the whole family to prepare together! Salute!
Enjoy our Fresh Pasta bar, every Sunday at our Sunday Prime Rib Buffet Dinner. www.elmhurstinn.com