Ravioli with Parma Ham, Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil
written by: Don & Birgit
For a very long time, to me ravioli represented those typical unbearable student-food-hall lunch and was everything but appealing in my mind. Only slowly did I realise that when they are freshly made, they are really fantastic and absolutely delicious! And ever since I received the noodle machine as a present, there is no stopping me anymore. This here is one of my very favourite ravioli recipes.
|6-8 slices||parma ham|
|6||sun dried tomatoes|
Put the flour into a big bowl and gradually add warm water. I didn't supply any amount for the water because this part is a lot about having the right feel. It should be about half to one full cup. While adding water, start to mix it with the flour and then start kneading it. Add as much water as you need to give the dough a smooth silky texture, but make sure it does not stick to your hands. Wrap it into a cling film and keep it in the fridge for a short while to let it settle.
In the mean time, get the filling of the ravioli done: cut the sun-dried tomatoes, the mozzarella and the basil into small pieces and mix it with freshly grated parmesan, some salt and pepper in a bowl. Now cut one slice of parma ham into two or three sections, put in the center of a section a little bit of the filling and wrap if up with the ham into a little ball. Repeat until all the ham and filling is used up.
Now its time to get back to the dough. Setup your noodle machine and get a piece of the dough that is slightly bigger then a table-tennis ball, and wrap the rest of the dough into cling film again and return it to the fridge. Flatten the dough and, starting from level 1, send it trough the noodle machine again and again up to the highest level (which gives the thines noodle strip. Distribute flour all over the dough frm time to time so it won't stick to the working surface. Once the first strip is ready, put it aside and lay a wet towel over it to keep it moist, then repeat the procedure to make a second (lower) strip. This is the one which you have to cover flour even more extremly, or it will stick to your working surface like mad lateron. Once you got it laid out in front of you, put the small balls of fillings along the strip with a distance of about 5 cm from centre to centre. Use a brush to apply a thin film of water over the entire open surface of the strip of noodle. Now the most difficult part of the recipe begins, take the strip you made first and put it on top of the lower strip with the filling on it. use one hand to hold one end of the strip up in the air to keep the'tunnel' open, then use the other hand - the working hand - to close up everything from the opposite end. First thing to do is to close the long edges of the strips. Once done, form you working hand to a half circle and close the far end of the strip, work yourself over the filling and close the ravioli on the other side without enclosing any air into the ravioli, This will otherwise let your ravioli burst lateron while cooking. If it happens to you, make a hole into the skin and let the air evade, then close the hole again. The ravioli will look a little ugly now but at least it will still be a ravioli instead of nothing at all later. Work yourself through the whole strip down to the other end, where your other hand has been deperately waiting for your to get closer. All this soudn really complicated but believe me, once you have got the hang of it, it is really easy and quick, I personally needed just about 15min to make raviolis for two when I did it the second time, so it gets really easy. And anyway, you will have quite a bit of practice anyway until you have used up all the filling/dough.
Once the whole strip is closed, use a rolling cutter (a pizza cutter could do the job, but even a knife is just as good) to cut away excessive edges and divide the strip into raviolis. If you have closed them up properly, then you don't have to be afraid of leaving jsut an edge of maybe 3mm. That is absolutely enough and too much dough at the edge will kill you appetit rapidly. Cover the raviolis with flour again so they won't stick, then move on to the next strip.
Once all the raviolis are done, put them into boiling salt water and cook them for 3 to 4 minutes, then add some basil, olive oil, parmesan cheese and black pepper on top. I bet you will like the taste of it.
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