Raviolis

Happy Thursday, Fellow Foodies!
 

Today I made Raviolis. Not just any raviolis though: Yesterday I made, from scratch, Pimento Cheese, thus I made pimento cheese raviolis today.

You can fill your ravis with just about anything you like. You can also "sauce" them with tomato, or Alfredo sauce, or just tossed in some butter (the possibilities are endless) you can even float them in soup. I happen to be very fond of tasso ham and collard ravis in split pea or potato leek soup.

The filling and sauce combinations for raviolis are only limited by your own imagination and personal tastes. So here is my "Southern" take on the ravioli:

For the Dough

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup Pimento Cheese *RECIPE BELOW

In the bowl of your food processor combine the flour and salt and pulse 2 to 3 times. In a liquid measuring cup whisk the eggs, water and oil. While pulsing the machine pour this mixture in a continuous stream and continue running the machine until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. It will look loose and pebbly.

Empty the food processor bowl onto a clean work surface and knead the dough about 4 minutes until it is a stiff shiny ball. It should feel a bit dry and very stiff. Wrap the ball in plastic. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to rest.

If you are lucky enough to have a pasta roller, by all means use it, and roll your pasta to #2 thickness. If you are like me and have to use a rolling pin...then some patience will be required. Lightly flour your work surface, and with a rolling in, roll your dough to a thin 1/32 of an inch. Cut your dough in half as it will be easier for you to handle.

When you have your sheet ready to go, trim it to as even a rectangle as you can make. I fold my dough in half and use a pizza cutter to trim the edges to "match".

Cut the dough in half. Place 1 to 1-1/2 tsp. of pimento cheese about 1-1/2  inches apart on one sheet of dough.

Lightly beat an egg, and brush the egg over the second sheet of dough. Pick it up and stretch it very gently and lay it egg side down on the pasta sheet with the filling.

Starting with the ravis in the center and working outward, press the dough over the filling trying to squeeze out as much air as possible to form little pillows. You can cut them into whatever shape you like-I find using my pizza cutter to make squares or rectangles easiest. A small round or triangular cutter is nice as well if you have them.

Gently press the edges of your ravis to between your thumb and first finger to seal them tightly. Allow them to rest on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper while you proceed.

Bring a large stock pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in your ravis and allow to cook 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile in a sauté pan combine:

2 Tbs. butter (I used browned butter-but plain butter is easier-*see below)
1/2 cup pancetta cut into matchsticks

Cook over high heat until the pancetta starts to crisp, By now your ravis are done. Drain and add to the sauté pan. Toss to coat your pasta, allow the ravis to cook over high heat about a minute-just until they brown a bit (this adds textural interest), and serve garnished with Italian (flat leaf) parsley.


*Browned Butter
Heat a thick-bottomed skillet on medium heat. Add 1 to 2 sticks, sliced butter (sliced so that the butter melts more evenly) whisking frequently. Continue to cook the butter. Once melted the butter will foam up a bit, then subside. Watch carefully as lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan. Smell the butter; it should have a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and place on a cool surface to help stop the butter from cooking further and perhaps burning. Use as you wish.

Pimento Cheese
8 oz. Shredded cheddar, 3/4 cup mayo, 4 oz. jar sliced pimentos-drained but not rinsed, 1/2 tsp. each onion powder, garlic powder and kosher salt. Mix Everything in a big bowl. Store in fridge for 24 hours before using. EASY BREEZY LEMON SQUEEZY!!!!

For traditional Ricotta filling combine 1 cup whole milk ricotta one large beaten egg and a pinch each or salt and pepper. Chill for a hour before proceeding.






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