PASTA has invaded our lives big time!
Just the way my school days was filled with Upma and Idli/ Dosa dinners, it is now completly replaced by the PASTA for my kids(atleast at my home).
There is a common belief that pasta is Unhealthy. I do not agree to it. It is a complete meal. The cheese gives the protein,the pastry gives the carbohydrates ,the butter/oil gives the fat and the vegetables give the vitamins . All this is required for growing kids!
I love experimenting with various types of pasta and the RAVIOLI has been in my mind for quite some time.
I have made an eggless pastry with equal amount of whole wheat flour and All purpose flour.Trust me, it was soft and did not break.
Recipe inspiration : Chef Pankaj Bhadouria
For the pastry:
Whole wheat flour- 1 cup
All purpose flour(Maida)- 1 cup
Salt - to taste
sugar-1 tsp( little more)
Olive oil- 1 tbsp
Water to knead- 1 cup( adjust)
For the sauce:
Tomato puree- 15 tomatoes( 2 tetra packs of ready made puree is what I used)
Garlic- 3 pods ( grated)
Finely chopped Jalapanoes(optional), bell peppers( all colours).
Herbs- fresh paraley, basil( if available) or use the dried ones
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper( according to taste)
Cheddar Cheese( grated) for the filling
Let us start making the RAVIOLI.
1. For the pastry, mix all the dry ingredients well and knead to make a smooth and soft dough. As I always tell you, adding extra water in the begginning itself will give you a softer tough. Stretch and knead the dough. It makes it much softer. Grease a bowl and place the dough covered with a moist cloth or a cling wrap for atleast half an hour. If you are in a very dry place, cover and refrigerate for half an hour.
2. While the dough is resting, lets prepare the sauce. This is an easy -to -do tomato sauce. Take a large broad pan and heat olive oil/ butter. Saute Garlic for one minute and add the bell peppers . When they are lightly done, add the puree, salt and let it simmer. You can close the pan and allow it to cook. This is going to take atleast 15 to 20 minutes. You can add half glass of water before closing the lid.
3. Now, while it simmers, lets prepare the RAVIOLI. For the stuffing, mix the grated cheddar cheese well with herbs of your choice. You can use finely chopped cilantro,mint,parsley,basil, spinach etc. i just used dried herbs. Mix them well and shape them into small balls.
4. Flour your working space and roll out the dough into a large thin circle or square. Cut the corners to make a square. Do make sure to flour the work space well as you thin out the pastry. Thicker the pastry, the RAVIOLI will taste doughy!!!! So make sure to make thin sheets. Also keep the remaining dough covered with the moist cloth so that it does not dry out.
5. Using a knife or pizza cutter cut them vertically to form strips like this.
6. Now place the cheese balls on the strips ,leaving one inch gap between each ball. Do it in alternate strips like this.
7. Now, using your finger or brush ,apply water on the four corners of the pastry with cheese balls .
8. Now take the other strip and place it on the strip with cheese and seal the corners by stretching the dough. Do it for all the strips.
9. Cut them into squares,each square having the cheese filling inside. This is so much fun!!!!
Using a plastic spoon, seal the corners well.
10. While you are busy with the pastry, remember to keep a vessel on the gas with water. The water has to be boiling. Just drop the RAVIOLI in boiling water. It will take less than a minute for the squares to float in the water. This is the indication that the RAVIOLI is done. Remove from water ,put them in a colander and pour cold water on it so that they do not stick to each other.
11. Washing them in cold water before transferring them into a serving bowl or Casserole.
12.Complete the same for the entire batch.
13. Your sauce would be ready by now. You can see brilliant red colour and oil on the sides of the pan.( it will be too tempting to taste...make sure not to burn your tongue!!!!)Add dried/ fresh parsley/ basil , freshly crushed pepper and switch off.
14. When it is time for dinner, pour steaming hot sauce on the ravioli and serve your family with garlic Bread sticks or crispy CROSTINI!
15. Yummieeeee!!! My bowl of RAVIOLI.....
Hey SUPERMOMS, does this seem like lot of work? If you feel so, here is an easy option.
You can make the pasta sauce beforehand. Also you can make the ravioli and freeze it whenever you have time. This way, it would mean just heating the two and serving your family!!!
A few pointers:
- The original RAVIOLI recipe calls for eggs. If you like eggs, you can add one to the dough.
-Resting the dough is important
- keep the dough covered at all times
- roll from the sides and roll as much as you can ,thinner the better!
You can make variations in this recipe and create so many varieties of RAVIOLI. You do get RAVIOLI MAKER abroad, which will make it easier to do this dish, but it is not so difficult to make in this way too!
I am sure you are excited to try. Do share your family feedback with me.