Pasta Week: Homemade Spelt Ravioli with Cheese - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Pasta Week: Homemade Spelt Ravioli with Cheese

I'm just going to come clean here. I'm Ital­ian and this is the first time I made home­made pasta. I hear you over there. Can you please stop laugh­ing? I've seen it done before, obvi­ously. My mom used to do it when she got her shiny, new pasta maker in the 80s and, of course, I've heard (over and over and over again) my Dad's sto­ries of my grandma mak­ing gnoc­chi by hand. ("She used to roll it with her fin­gers just like this. Are you watch­ing? Look. Like this!") How­ever, I never made it myself. I've always been too ner­vous (Why? It's not like I had to do some­thing hard like break­down a cow car­cass.) and too under equipped to try. Until now.

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Pho­tos by Maya Visnyei

Let me see. Who is respon­si­ble for this? Well, I guess I could start with KitchenAid. Then there's Chef Lynn Craw­ford, who is quite frankly the nicest, most engag­ing and flat-out fun­ni­est lady ever, but she's a trou­ble maker. A sim­ple invi­ta­tion to a KitchenAid event–showcase the var­i­ous attach­ments avail­able for the beloved mixer–started my whole anx­i­ety attack about mak­ing home­made pasta. With Chef Lynn Craw­ford host­ing, I knew I had to attend. Scar­lett and I are huge fans of her Food Net­work show Pitchin' In, so it was a big sur­prise when I told Scar­lett she could tag along with me.

On the rainy evening of the demon­stra­tion, Scar­lett suited up in her hot pink "I love Cook­ing Shows" T-shirt (thanks Matt and Holly!), pink rain boots and stowed the art­work she cre­ated for Chef Lynn in her bag. She did every­thing a good writer/editor does–witnessed each demon­stra­tion, shyly asked a few ques­tions and quite hap­pily ate the offer­ings. She also fell com­pletely under the spell of the evening's host­ess. Like a star-struck teenager star­ing down a rock star, Scar­lett was totally at a loss for words and in awe when she met Chef Lynn. I kind of couldn't blame her since the chef's approach­able per­son­al­ity and moun­tain of humour is an even trans­la­tion from the TV screen to real life. Plus she was so gen­er­ous with her time–she basi­cally allowed my daugh­ter to be her cook­ing side­kick. The high­light was their pasta mak­ing hijinks when Lynn and Scar­lett decided to make the world's longest lasagna noo­dle. They even tried to cart it out onto a busy Toronto street. (I have a video of this that I'm sure to whip out one day on Scar­lett.) So, at the end of the evening, it was no sur­prise when Scar­lett insisted on leav­ing with the pasta mak­ing attachment.

I'm not sure why but I was still ner­vous about actu­ally buck­ling down and mak­ing the stuff that happy bellys are full of. How­ever, I sol­diered on and found this recipe using spelt flour from recipes.ca and I put together the fill­ing based on Scarlett's very spe­cific instruc­tion: "Just. Cheese. Mommy." (Ok, so basil made it in as well.) I'm not sure why I was sweat­ing the whole process? I'm really quite embar­rassed since, when we actu­ally used the attach­ment, it was ridicu­lously easy. I may never buy pasta in a box again. Ok, I might but it will only be because I can't carry around that heavy mixer everywhere.

cheflynnpost

Rain boots on back­wards? No wor­ries. The chef's always got your back.

Scarlett's Home­made Spelt Ravi­oli with Cheese

2 cups spelt flour
3 eggs, room tem­per­a­ture
1 pinch salt
2 table­spoons olive oil

1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup freshly, grated parme­san cheese, plus extra for garnish

Fill­ing

1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup grated moz­zarella cheese
1/4 cup finely grated parme­san cheese
2 eggs, beaten
2 table­spoons fresh, chopped basil, plus extra for gar­nish
1/2 tea­spoon salt
pinch of nutmeg

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Method

For the pasta

In a large mix­ing bowl, sift the flour and salt. Beat the eggs with the oil.

Make a well in the flour and then stir in the egg mix­ture with a spoon. Fin­ish the blend­ing process using your hands and then knead the dough on a lightly floured sur­face. Knead until the dough comes together.

Cover in plas­tic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.

For the fill­ing, in a medium size mix­ing bowl, mix ricotta, moz­zarella and parme­san. Mix in the eggs until incor­po­rated thor­oughly. Add the basil, salt and nut­meg and blend.

I rolled mine out using the pasta attach­ment for my KitchenAid Pro­fes­sional Mixer. I fol­lowed the direc­tions for use to a T. The pasta came thin and per­fect with only a few passed through the machine.

With no fancy ravi­oli mould, Scar­lett and I laid the sheets out on a lightly floured sur­face and cut them into lop­sided squares, put a tea­spoon full of fill­ing in the cen­tre and then topped each with a coor­di­nat­ing sheet. Scar­lett used a fork to seal the edges closed.

Drop the fresh ravi­oli into a pot of boil­ing water that is heav­ily salted. Stir them imme­di­ately to keep them from adher­ing together. Allow them to cook for 2 to 3 min­utes, or until they float to the top.

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Mean­while, warm your favote sauce in a large skil­let over medium low heat.

Drain the pasta from the boil­ing water. Pop the ravi­oli into the sauce and stir to coat. Sprin­kle parme­san over the ravi­oli, stir  and serve imme­di­ately with an extra sprin­kling of parme­san and some fresh basil.

 

  

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