09.18.11_Homemade Whole Wheat Ravioli

I have always wanted to try and make my own pasta but I never have felt a need to buy a pasta maker. Since I do not have the pasta maker to evenly cut out long strands for linguine or anything like that, I thought ravioli would be a good idea because I could just roll the dough out by hand and if it came out somewhat "rustic" it would be fine. The recipe that I actually found was for whole wheat pasta (which doesn't contain egg) so I thought this would be another good dish to have with Caitlin. She was coming over for dinner on Sunday so I thought this would be a good opportunity to make them since I would have all day to figure it out.

I ended up using a few different recipes for my ravioli. The original recipe that I found said that they did not like the filling they used and the sauce didn't really appeal to me (it looked like a paste they spread on top of the ravioli). So I decided I would use the original recipe for the dough, and then find another recipe for the filling and sauce. I just looked on Food Network for "Butternut Squash Ravioli" and came across Emeril's recipe for Ravioli and Sage Brown Butter.
Before tackling the dough, I quickly sauteed one shallot in olive oil (instead of butter for Caitlin) with some S&P before adding a package of the defrosted squash puree I bought at the store. I cooked for a couple of minutes, added some nutmeg, and then let the mixture cool completely while I was making the dough. The dough was super easy to make. Just mix the all-purpose and whole wheat flower together with some S&P and a little garlic and/or onion powder. I sifted the all-purpose flour to get rid of any clumps but when I sifted the whole wheat flour, all the little brown flecks of what I'm assuming were the wheat were left in the sifter. I ended up dumping those back into the mixture since I did not want to separate out the wheat! Then add in the wet ingredients which were just water and I added a tablespoon of maple syrup for sweetener. I had to add a little more water than the recipe called for to get all the ingredients combined and at a good consistency.

Next came the tricky part. My tiny kitchen really does not allow room for big projects like this and I also did not have a very big cutting board so I was really tight for space. I split the dough in half and rolled the first half out on a floured cutting board. I had to open the rolling pin my sister had given me a few years back since I had never used it (have I mentioned I don't back much?). After the dough was rolled out to the size of my cutting board I spooned on tablespoon of the squash mixture onto the dough. I managed to fit three rows of four on the dough, leaving about an inch in between each blob of filling.

Next, I wet my finger and drew a grid around the filling scoops so that when I laid the other layer of dough on top they would stick together. I rolled out the second half of the dough on another cutting board and when it seemed as big as the other piece of dough, I used my rolling pin to pick up the dough and gently laid it on top of the dough with the filling on top. I then took my finger and run it around all the spoonfuls of squash mixture and pressed the doughs together. I used a pizza cutter to cut the ravioli into squares and tossed the leftover dough back into my mixing bowl. I used a fork to crimp all the edges to keep the ravioli together and to make it look pretty and homemade. I then used the leftover dough to make a few extra ravioli. I ended up with 14 ravioli, but they were pretty big.

I prepared the ravioli earlier in the day an then covered them with plastic wrap until Caitlin came over. When we were ready to eat I brought a big pot of water to a boil and dropped the ravioli in. The ravioli cooked for about 4 minutes or so before I strained them in a colander. While the water was coming to a boil, I made the Sage Brown Butter for me and Phillip. I melted a stick of butter, added 12 leaves of sage, and just let it cook until it became brown, stirring occasionally.

I was really impressed with how the ravioli came out. None of them fell apart while cooking or being drained and they tasted delicious. It definitely took some time but it was fun to make my own pasta from scratch and I'd like to try it again and make regular pasta. I served the ravioli with garlic bread and a side salad. The salad consisted of spinach leaves, candied walnuts, and grapes. Yum! Caitlin and I used my favorite Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette and I made a Apple Cider Vinaigrette for Phillip. If you are looking for a fun weekend project I would definitely recommend trying to make your own pasta!

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