Ravioli: Take Two

Yesterday, we quickly mentioned the pumpkin ravioli. This ravioli is similar to the four cheese in that the dough is the same, but other than that, they are very different. The filling has pumpkin puree, which is the insides of a pumpkin minus the seeds baked at 350˚ with the shell, and then pureed. It also has nutmeg, ricotta, and salt. We made this mixture and left it in the fridge overnight.

Today we are assembling both the four cheese and the pumpkin ravioli, and so far things are turning out as expected! We have already learned the thinner the dough the better. While boiling you will be able to tell if the dough is too thick because the dough will start to separate from itself and form air pockets. Luckily, we learned this from our first trial and we were able to make the pumpkin ravioli a bit thinner, but it was still slightly too thick. The filling was still delicious.

Ravioli Dough

2 c all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1 t olive oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 T water

  1. Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl and form a well. Beat the olive oil, eggs, and water in a bowl. Pour half the egg mixture into the well. Begin mixing the egg with the flour with one hand; use your other hand to keep the flour mound steady. Add the remaining egg mixture and knead to form a dough.
  2. Knead the dough until smooth, this will take about 8 to 10 minutes, and add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Form the dough into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic., then refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. After chilled, flatten dough with a rolling pin and make into a large rectangle

Pumpkin Ravioli Filling 

Ingredients

1 c ricotta cheese
1/2 c pumpkin puree
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground nutmeg

Directions

  1. Mix the cheese, pumpkin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the nutmeg. Set filling aside.
  2. Drop 2 level teaspoons filling onto half of the rectangle, about 1 1/2 inches apart in 2 rows of 4 mounds each. Moisten the edges of the dough, and the dough between the rows of pumpkin mixture with water. Fold the other half of the dough up over the pumpkin mixture, pressing the dough down around the pumpkin. Cut between the rows of filling to make ravioli; press the edges together with a fork, or cut with a pastry wheel. Seal edges well. Repeat with the remaining dough and pumpkin filling. Place ravioli on towel. Let stand, turning once, until dry, about 30 minutes.
  3. Cook ravioli in 4 quarts of boiling salted water until tender; drain carefully.

For later in the week, we are going to attempt to contact anyone we know to try to find an attachment to the kitchen aid to make the pasta thinner. This would make the pasta making process much easier and would allow us to make thinner pasta, hopefully improving the overall quality of the dish. For tomorrow, we plan to try making uniform-sized squares and lay them on top of one another and crimp all four edges, instead of a slice that we fold. Hopefully allowing a thinner edge and decreasing the amount of dough to filling ratio. Other changes we hope to make are a smaller ravioli to allow for a shorter cooking time. We also plan to make sure the ravioli is served hot to make sure the cheese filling doesn’t harden in the cool air.

Although today the ravioli cooking process went very smoothly and was much easier than we thought, the final product was very unsatisfactory.  I personally found both the taste and texture of the ravioli utterly disgusting. The thickness of the dough upset my stomach and made the ravioli itself difficult to eat. Although the filling of both had an exceptional flavor, the proportions of the ravioli to filling was all wrong. Pasta is my favorite dish, and today was disappointing. For the rest of the week I want to be more cautious about thickness and distribution, hopefully with the mistakes made today this will be possible.

-Jenna

My expectations of the ravioli were not met in today’s attempts. The raviolis came out looking sad and diseased. This appearance was brought on by the discoloration, appearing almost white, and the air bubbles on the surface. The thickness of the dough was also a problem. The dough turned tough, and thick when cooked, even though we rolled it out thinner than a dime. Tomorrow I hope to remedy these problems by making the ravioli differently, rolling the dough thinner, and serving them hot. The assembly will be different in the way that we are cutting two uniform sheets and laying one atop the other with the filling in between. The other two steps seem self explanatory.

-Ryan

I was not expecting the taste and texture of the ravioli at all. We made the pasta as thin as a dime, but the ravioli was still very thick. It made the cook time of the ravioli much longer than usual. , and when I ate just a few, my stomach felt very queasy. The filling was very good and helped drown of the taste of the pasta.  In the pumpkin ravioli, the nutmeg was much stronger than all of the other tastes. I almost couldn’t taste the pumpkin it was so strong.  I think that a pasta maker could help make the pasta thinner, which would lessen my stomach ache. Also, making squares the same size could minimize the amount of extra pasta on the sides of the ravioli.

-Zeb

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