Asparagus Ricotta Ravioli

OMG people, do not underestimate the power and magic of homemade pasta. I am not kidding you! Yes, it takes a bit of time to make the pasta but, spread it out over a weekend. Make the dough and the filling one day and then fill and cook the next. This ravioli is filled with Asparagus, ricotta and Parmegiano-Reggiano and is gorgeous with the soft beautiful pasta. I boiled them for 3-4 minutes and then tossed them in some browned butter with some garlic slices and some fresh chives. Bellisima!!

You will need:

  • 1 small tub of ricotta 250 grams- drained 
  • 1 bunch of asparagus -bottoms removed
  • 1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmegiano-Reggiano 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
Step 1: drain your ricotta at least 2 hours to remove as much water as possible.

Step 2: remove woody bottoms of asparagus and chop into large pieces. Boil in salted water for 3-4 minutes. Drain.
Step 3: in a food processor pulse until asparagus is fine but still has some texture to it. You want it small enough to be contained in the pasta but still large enough to identify it as asparagus when eating it. Drain for 30 minutes.
Step 4: add asparagus to ricotta and mix in nutmeg, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Taste it and adjust if necessary. Set aside. I usually make this the day before assembly and keep in fridge covered.
Step 5: make dough in a bowl by hand or in a food processor (which is way easier!) By hand I just put flour and salt in bowl, stir with a fork and make a well in the middle of the bowl. Add eggs and then gradually mix with the fork until the flour gets worked into the eggs. When it can no longer be mixed with the fork. Turn out to the counter and knead with your hands until you have a smooth ball. In the food processor you add flour and salt and then add the eggs and the machine mixes it until it forms a ball. Cover dough with plastic wrap or place in a Ziploc bag for at least 1 hour (or overnight) 
Step 6: slice in 8 piece and dust in flour. Set up a pasta machine or you can roll by hand. I use a KitchenAid attachement which I love but, a hand crank pasta machine is pretty inexpensive.
Step 7: start on the largest setting and run pasta through and each time run through on a smaller setting until it is thin enough to make your ravioli. I usually run it through to 1 or 2 settings before the   last setting. I don’t want it so thin that it breaks during the cooking.
Step 8: I place a small teaspoon all the way down the sheet. You need enough room in between each ravioli to seal and cut your individual ravioli. I then fold over the side without the filling and use my fingers and base of my palm to press the dough together. I am always trying to remove any air and form a nice tight seal. 
Step 9: You can use a ravioli cutter (an inexpensive tool you can buy in the grocery store) or what I think is easier just use a knife and cut your ravioli by hand. If you use a ravioli cutter you need to be more precise on amount of filling you use. It’s too fussy for me. I like the speed I can get buy just doing it with a knife.
Step 10: place your finished ravioli on a floured sheet of parchment paper. You can then put in the fridge before cooking or freeze and once frozen place in a Ziploc bag.
If you have any extra dough you can flour and roll up the sheets and slice them to make Tagliatelle. You can pile into nests and let dry slightly before cooking or you can freeze them. Delicious with a nice simple tomato sauce and some sprinkled Parmegiano!
To cook the ravioli boil a large pot of heavily salted water and cook for 3-4 minutes. They will float to the top of the water and then you cook them for another minute of two. In a saute pan I add slices of garlic and a tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of good quality olive oil. I cook on medium heat to avoid burning for a few minutes, add the cooked ravioli and toss for another minute and serve with fresh chives and fresh Parmegiano!! Gorgeous.

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