Enter: Adam at age fifteen, circa 2007, inside the culinary Arts lab of Cranston High School West. It is the first week of class, and I am about to burst with excitement. I have been waiting years to work with a real chef and learn what cooking is all about. I watch intently, noting every single movement as Chef Martha Sylvestre shows us all for the first time, how to make fresh pasta dough. Since that day, store bought pasta has never quite tasted the same. It may be a labor of love, but I've never sat down to eat home made pasta and said anything other than "Wow, That was worth all the work."
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp. water
1. create a mound using two cups of flour. Create a well within the mound. Add the eggs and water into the well.
2. Beat the eggs with a fork, and slowly grab and incorporate more and more flour with your fork as you are beating. Do this until a dough begins to form and you cannot beat with a fork anymore.
3. Using your hands, incorporate some more flour and on a floured surface, begin kneading the dough, incorporating flour as needed, until the dough has a little elasticity. The dough should be moist, yet not wet enough to be sticky.
4. Cover your dough-ball in plastic wrap, and allow it to rest for about twenty minutes before using.
5. Repeat this process as many times as you need to for the desired amount of pasta. Each ball of dough will feed about two people.
If you have a food-processor, you can simply add two cups of flour, the eggs, and the water and use that to incorporate, but I personally like to do it by hand.
The first time you try to make pasta dough, it might not come out right, whether it isn't the right consistency, or just a little over-kneaded, but don't get discouraged. Every time I make this, it become a little bit easier and a tastes a little bit better. Once you've made it a few times, it will become second nature.
1/2 zucchini, small dice
1/2 yellow squash, small dice
1/2 carrot, fine dice
3-4 asparagus, thinly sliced
3-4 Oz olive oil
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1. In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and toss to coat evenly with seasonings and oil. If desired, you can add more or less olive oil.
2. Spread the vegetable mixture out on a sheet pan, and put into an oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the vegetable soften and begin to brown.
Alright, now comes the fun part: Forming your ravioli. Once your dough is rested, it can be rolled out. If you have a pasta roller, then you're in luck. If not, you can use a rolling pin. If you are using a pasta roller, a tip that I learned very early on in my pasta-making days is to run the dough through each number of thickness twice because it will more sufficiently stretch your dough and makes it much less likely to rip while rolling. You want to roll your dough into sheets about one and a half to two inches wide, and as long as you desire. You will want to make an even number of dough sheets, because you will need two sheets to make the ravioli.
Directions for assembling ravioli
1. On a well floured surface, lay out one sheet of pasta dough.
2. Scoop out 2tsp sized portions of your filling onto the sheet, about one and a half inches from each other. Scoop as many as you can fit onto the sheet of dough.
3. Using your finger, brush a thin layer of water onto the dough around the filling. This will allow the top layer of dough to combine with the bottom layer in the next step.
4. Take a second sheet of pasta dough and lay it on top of the first. Trying not to let too much air in, use your fingers to press down the dough around the portions of filling. Don't squish the dough, but push down firm enough for it to stick well.
5. Cut around each portion of filling leaving about 1/4 inch of dough. As you finish the ravioli, lay them out on parchment paper, or on a well floured surface to avoid sticking.
Unlike dried store bought pasta, home made pasta only needs to be boiled for a few minutes. Drop your ravioli into boiling water, and do not go anywhere. After just a couple of minutes, they'll start to float, and when they do, you know they're ready to be strained.
Like I said, this is a labor of love, and if you don't have the time or desire to make something delicious from scratch, then this isn't for you, but if you can find the time, then you will love this recipe. Let's nosh!