There is little to beat fresh pasta and home made is even better. It is so simple to make your own pasta and it is so worth the effort. Everyone will immediately be able to tell that they are eating something a little special.
I made my own pasta for this ravioli with ricotta cheese and smoked salmon, but you can buy sheets of fresh pasta to save time.
First, this is how to make the pasta.
Ingredients for the pasta dough (serves 6)
300g (2 1/2 cups) white flour, type '00' plus some for dusting
3 medium eggs
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
(Note - I made half the quantity here)
1. Sift the flour onto your worktop and make a well in the centre.
2. Break in the eggs.
3. Add in the salt and oil.
4. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, mix the flour into the eggs, working from the centre outwards. Once you have a crumbly texture, scoop the mixture together with your hands and start to knead until you have a soft dough. Knead then for about 8 minutes as you would knead bread. Roll the dough into a ball, cover with clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
5. Once it is rested, flatten the dough, with your hands, so that it will fit through the pasta machine.
6. Lightly flour the pasta on both sides and start to roll it through the pasta machine, from the widest to the thinnest setting. Make sure you keep the pasta dusted at each stage. You will be left with a long sheet of this pasta ready to use (use within the hour).
Ingredients for the ravioli filling
750g (3 3/4 cups) ricotta cheese
zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
300g (about 10oz) smoked salmon
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
salt and pepper to taste
oil to drizzle for serving
chives to sprinkle for serving
a beaten egg to assemble the ravioli
1. Place all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and mix together with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste.. Cover and place in the fridge to rest for 10 minutes.
2. Lay the pasta sheets on a work surface which has been dusted with flour. Put teaspoonfuls of the filling at 4cm (1 1/2 inch) intervals across half of the rolled out dough. Brush the spaces between the fillings with the beaten egg. Gently cover with the rest of the dough and press down between the parcels of filling on all sides.
3. Use a pastry or pasta wheel, or sharp knife, to cut the pasta into squares between the fillings.
4. Cook the ravioli in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 3 minutes. I did this in batches. Drain and place in the middle of a large serving plate and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a little olive oil, sprinkle with the chives and serve.
This recipe can be a little fiddly but, once tried, home made ravioli will become a firm favourite.
I took this recipe from Gino's Pasta by Gino D'Acampo.
Have a great weekend everyone!