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January 5, 2011

I’ve been working on this post for several weeks – my original intention was to have this up before Christmas.  Oh well.  Better late then never.

I’ve been playing around with making pasta since August and I think I’ve finally got this ravioli to where I want it.  I’ve already posted the fresh pasta dough and, the basic filling recipe.  If you prefer your filling without spinach, just omit it from the recipe.  Making ravioli is just a marriage of the dough and filling and, it’s a breeze with a pasta roller.

Once your dough is made and finished resting, cut off a piece about 1 inch by 3 inches or so.  Not too big.  Flatten it slightly by hand and then feed into your pasta roller.  Always start at the largest opening – 1.  You’re going to roll this out several times, each time the roll is finished, dust the dough lightly with flour, fold in thirds and roll again, still on the Setting 1. 

After 3 to 5 spins though on Setting 1, when  the dough is silky smooth, it’s time to move on.   As you increase the settings, decreasing the width between the rollers, you don’t flour or fold the dough any more.  Simply run the dough through Setting 2, then Setting 3 and so on. 

I like my ravioli dough a little thicker so I usually stop after rolling out after Setting 4.  Most recipes will tell you to go all the way to Setting 6 or even 7.  This will become a personal preference for you.

I use this nifty little Ravioli mold and it makes the process very quick, along with keeping the ravioli even in size.  Simply roll the dough to the desired thickness; place it on top of the aluminum piece of the mold; gently press down with the “dent maker”;

add your favorite filling; top with another layer of dough; run a rolling pin across the top to seal and cut the ravioli squares.  Easy peasy.

Pop the ravioli into boiling water and cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until the pasta is done (depending on the thickness of your pasta).  The ravioli may float to the top before being completely cooked, so a taste test may be helpful. 

The ravioli freeze beautifully.  I use a Food Saver to pull out the air of the packaging and give it a solid seal.  If you’re going to take that route, freeze the ravioli quickly, in a single layer on a baking sheet, so they won’t stick together when you package them up.  I made several batches of these before Christmas and froze them.  I gave them to close friends, along with marinara sauce, for Christmas gifts.

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