>> Friday, February 28, 2014
These bacon and ricotta filled ravioli were one of my favorite dishes of the evening. Our ravioli chef, Mark Borghetti, whips these out faster than you can imagine. "I'm Italian," he says in his suburban Chicago accent. "You oughta see my mom make ravioli."
Mark uses this pasta roller that clamps to a table or counter and the sheets come out smooth and even. If you don't have this, or a pasta machine, a rolling pin will do. He also has this round ravioli cutter that crimps the edges while it cuts through two layers of pasta, as you can see above. Alas, we don't have this tool either, so next time we make this recipe, we'll be cutting these into squares with a knife.
I hear there's also a thing called a ravioli mold that helps the ravioli-making process in some way. I shouldn't hear about things like this - my kitchen is way too small for any other gadgets or utensils.
Mark says he got the original recipe from The Food Network.
For the dough4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
6 large eggs, beaten
For the filling1 cup sliced yellow onion
8 slices thick-cut bacon, roughly chopped
4 carrots, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
3 ounces gruyere or swiss cheese, grated
2 large egg yolks
For the sauce4 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound assorted mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 green onions, chopped
2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
To make the doughPut the flour and eggs in a food processor or mixer. Process until the dough clings to the beaters or blades. Turn out the dough on a floured surface and shape into a rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside 30 minutes at room temperature.
To make the fillingIn a food processor or blender, blend the onions, raw bacon, and carrots until finely chopped and well mixed. Pour 1 cup of water in a large skillet and heat until boiling. Add the bacon mixture, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the water is evaporated and the vegetables start to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley, then place in a bowl and let it cool about 15 minutes. Mix in the rest of the filling ingredients and refrigerate until ready to stuff the ravioli. Note: this can be made one or two days ahead of time.
To make the ravioliSprinkle the dough with flour and divide into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into a 4" by 2" rectangle. If using a pasta machine, adjust it to the widest setting then roll the pasta through several times, reducing the setting until the pasta is about 1/16th inch thick. If using a rolling pin, turn the dough out on a floured surface and roll it until it is 1/16th inch thick and about 3" wide. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
On a floured surface, lay out one sheet of dough. Scoop out tablespoons of the ricotta filling and place them two inches apart on the sheet of dough, making sure you leave 2 inches along the edges of the dough as well. Place another sheet of dough over the top of the ravioli. Using a ravioli cutter, knife, or pizza wheel, cut out the ravioli. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
At this point, you can freeze the ravioli for later (no, eat it now!) or put it in a covered container and refrigerate for another day. Since we weren't going to eat for another hour or so, Mark put his raviolis on a cookie sheet and placed them in the freezer so they would hold together much better when he boiled them.
To make the sauceMelt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, salt, and pepper, and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and green onions, and cook and stir for one minute. Add the tomatoes, basil, and parsley, and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the tomatoes are softened.
Boil the ravioli in a large pot for 10 minutes, then remove to a serving platter. Stir 1 1/2 cups of the ravioli cooking water to the sauce, and simmer 5 minutes. Serve with the sauce drizzled over the ravioli or passed in a separate bowl.