Thursday, February 2, 2012
I have well and truly caught the pasta making bug, and finally have the hang of making it, well apart from the pasta machine I own, which is possibly the single most frustrating piece of kitchen equipment in my house. But that aside, there are bound to be many a post covering my endeavors of pasta making, which I suppose will be a nice break from what seems to be a flood of pork related posts.
Pulling out the flour and eggs to make pasta, has become easier and far more satisfying than getting a packet of the dried variety and boiling, the only frustration is the damn machine I own, but I have now conquered that, one of the rollers seemed to have a mind of its own and refused to turn, but I discovered the handle was pushed in too far and dislodged the roller from the gears, so what was a lot of under the breath swearing and least favorite part of the process is now smooth and easy.
Pasta dough is simple, two parts egg (by weight) and three parts flour, combine together in a bowl to form a dough, tip it out on to the bench, knead until smooth, wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest for half an hour, plenty of time to prepare the sauce, filling or whatever you are going to have with it, just make sure the water you cook it in is good and salty.
This nights dish was my first attempt at ravioli. I roasted an eggplant, cut in half studded with slithers of garlic and drizzled with olive oil. When the eggplant was cooked, I scooped out its soft flesh and combined it with some parsley and a little vinegar, mashing it to make a thick paste.
I cut the pasta dough in two, and rolled each out to the same length and thickness, and put dollops of the filling evenly along one sheet, brushed with a little water around the edges and carefully placed the other sheet of dough on top, making sure to get as much air out as possible, those TV chefs certainly make it look easier than I found it, but I'm sure practice makes perfect.
With a round cutter I pressed out each ravioli, and crimped the edges before placing them in a pot of salted boiling water, they took about 2 minutes to cook. Earlier while the dough was resting, I prepared a simple caper and cherry tomato sauce, with a little kick of chilli, it went beautifully with the ravioli.