After a largely unsuccessful first attempt at making ravioli I was determined to give it another shot.
Amongst a plethora of troubles in my previous attempt, the key issues that stuck out for me were a shortage of plain flour (it had gone AWOL) and lack of time with guests already waiting patiently around the dinner table.
This time, I stocked up on all the necessary ingredients and when my guests arrived I served up a loaf of tearing bread – bread loaf sliced in criss-crosses, with Boursin, chorizo and mozzarella squished between the cuts. This kept them busy while I cracked on.
Iv kept the recipe simple which also helped with time:
Pasta: 4 eggs, 400g flour
Filling: tub of marscapone, can of soft pumpkin, tsp nutmeg, pinch of salt and pepper
Topping: chopped walnuts, knob of butter, brown sugar
Utensils: you really do need a pasta machine or you will never get the dough as thin as you need. (Trust me, I tried. It was like eating thick cardboard. I persevered at the time, but consequently suffered terrible stomach pains that kept me awake until my 3am alarm went off and I had to catch a flight, feeling miserable. All because I thought a rolling pin would do.)
Start with the pasta – tip your flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle. Add beaten eggs into the well and stir in roughly with a fork. After a quick whizz with a fork it’s actually far easier to get stuck in with your fingertips, working it together into a dough.
Once you have a dough, it has to be kneaded for about 10 minutes on a hard surface before being cling filmed and popped in the fridge.
After a half hour chill (although I skipped this for time purposes) take a handful of dough and roll it through the widest setting of your machine.
Repeat this several times, each time folding the pasta onto itself. This helps give you a smooth and strong sheet to work with.
Turn the dial to the narrow the gap until you’re on a setting that when rolled through, the pasta can hold its own weight when held in the air.
From this sheet, cut rectangles twice the length you want your ravioli to be, and add the filling to one side (a little goes a long way).
Add these to an oiled plate (not floured as I tried, as the pasta still sticks to its buddies through flour). Don’t add any pieces over the top of others or they’ll stick. Use lots of oiled plates!
Put a pan of water on to boil, and while you’re waiting add your chopped walnuts to a pan to brown off. They can turn quite quickly so keep an eye on them, and when they darken add a knob of butter and about 3 tbsp brown sugar (this varies based on preference but I like them medium sugary). Leave this on a low heat, stirring every couple of minutes until a nice, dark caramel sauce forms around the walnuts.
Add pasta to boiling water.
When they float they’re ready (about 2 or 3 mins)
Serve in a large bowl with a drizzle of oil and the walnuts scattered across the top.
Happy Halloween, pumpkins!