Dubai: Want to enjoy homemade ravioli but too intimidated to try, because you don’t have a pasta machine? You don’t have to resort to store-bought pasta. What if we told you that it is not difficult to make ravioli and many other types of stuffed pasta from scratch, right in your kitchen?
Dubai-based Italian chef Danielle Scotto, during a master class at Eataly, an Italian restaurant in Dubai Mall, showed the Food by Gulf News team a step-by-step guide on how to make a delicious ravioli dish, stuffed with cheese and simmered in a flavourful tomato-based red sauce, at home without using any pasta machines.
“You’ll be amazed at how easy it is if you have the right ingredients. Make sure you are working with Italian 00 flour,” explained Chef Scotto. This super fine flour is the go-to Italian pizza flour and is also known as Manitoba flour. Weak flour or 00 flour is what you need to make good pasta. “You can find brands such as Caputo in most hypermarkets in Dubai. Do not use all-purpose flour,” he added.
Guide to making ravioli at home
Serving size: 2-3 people
Preparation time: 10 minutes; resting time: 24 to 3 hours
Cooking time: 5 minutes
For the dough:
- 00 weak flour 200gm
- Whole eggs 2
For the filling:
- 100 gm ricotta cheese,
- 20 grams of grated Grana Pedano cheese
- Marjoram leaves
- Pummarola sauce (scroll down for the recipe of this tomato-based red sauce)
- Fresh basil leaves
1. Knead the flour with two whole eggs slowly for about three to four minutes.
2. The dough must be prepared a day or at least 3 hours in advance. Cover the dough in a cling film and keep it for resting in the refrigerator.
3. When you are ready to make the pasta, place the dough on a flat surface dusted with flour. Now using a rolling pin, flatten the dough to make sheets. At this stage, the dough might be a little tough to work with depending on how long it has rested. “Push your body weight on your arms to roll the dough with ease, instead of pushing down with your arms alone,” the chef advised.
4. The pasta sheet is the right thickness when you can start to see your fingers through it when you hold it up against a source of light.
5. Cut the sheet into small squares of roughly 2.5inch length and divide them into two batches.
6. For the filling:
a. Chop a handful of marjoram herb leaves. Now in a mixing bowl add the ricotta cheese, grated Grana Pedano cheese and some marjoram leaves.
b. Pour around 20-30ml of olive oil, and mix to a creamy consistency. Scoop the filling into a piping bag.
7. Pipe the filling onto the centers of each pasta square in one batch. The pasta squares from the second batch will be used for placing on the top and sealing, to make the ravioli.
8. Place one square each on top of the fillings and seal the sides using a fork to make the ravioli.
9. If the pasta sheet is too dry, dip your finger in water and run it along the sides to wet the pasta before sealing. This will ensure that the pasta doesn’t open up while boiling.
10. In a colander, add enough water to boil the pasta. Don’t forget to add salt to the water at this stage.
11. While the water boils, in a separate pan, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of pummarola sauce, and place the pan on medium heat.
12. Once the water in the colander starts to boil, slowly drop the ravioli in and boil for 3 to 4 minutes.
13. Meanwhile, stir the pummarola sauce for two minutes and toss in some fresh basil leaves in the red sauce.
14. Add a small pinch of salt and pepper.
15. Drain the pasta and add it to the saucepan.
16. Toss the pasta in the sauce. This is an important step, because the pasta releases starch in the sauce, and absorbs the flavours of the sauce. Chef Scotto said: “Some people first serve cooked pasta on the plate then add the sauce on top. But, Italians always like to cook the pasta in the sauce for a few minutes. That’s the actual Italian way to serve it.”
17. Transfer the pasta fresh on to a plate, with some sauce.
18. Add a scoop burrata cheese on top, and a tablespoon of pesto to garnish.
Note: Chef Scotto added that the same method can be used to make different shapes of stuffed pasta, like Tortellini, Agnolotti, Cappelletti, or Pansotti. The squares can by pinched individually at the center to make Farfalle or bow tie pasta.
Recipe courtesy: A collaboration between the Italian Trade Agency and Eataly
Recipe: How to make pummarola sauce or red sauce for pasta at home
- 10 gms thyme
- 2 cloves garlic
- 10 gms basil finely chopped
- 10 gms bay leaf
- 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 800 gm pomodori sauce or pureed ripe tomatoes
- 200 gm cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1 pinch oregano
- 100 gms onion finely chopped
- 100 gm celery finely chopped
- 100 gm carrots finely chopped
- Sea salt to taste
1. Pour two tablespoons of olive oil into a saucepan and place over medium heat. Saute the garlic until golden brown.
2.Add and sauté chopped onion, celery and carrots with a pinch of salt until caramelised.
3. Add cherry tomatoes and stir.
4. Now, add the bay leaves and thyme.
5. Add the pomodori sauce and let it boil till it reduces to half, stir every few minutes.
6. Add fresh basil leaves and oregano. If necessary, add a few tablespoons of water.
Use immediately or store in a refrigerator for two days, or freeze.
Recipe courtesy: Elaine Landayan, Kitchen Sous chef, Eataly, Dubai mall branch