On a recent sunny Sunday, we set out to make ravioli for the second time because the first time was a failure with ravioli that was too thick, gummy, and inconsistent. After a recent visit, my sister-in-law gifted us a couple ravioli stamps because she recognized our new interest in hand making pasta. Picking the recipe proved easy. Knowing that Jamie Oliver receives high marks for quality, freshness, and an organic creativity for his recipes in our opinion, we selected an easy mixture of potato, pecorino, lemon zest, nutmeg, and fresh mint from his 2007 book, Cook with Jamie (which we picked up @Powell’s Home and Garden in PDX, for 12 bucks). Jamie has never really steered us wrong.
I used his pasta recipe (2 ½ cups of flour with 3 eggs), which required an additional egg than I usually use for pasta. I found the dough dry and flaky, so I added a little extra virgin olive oil and water. After 30 minutes refrigerator rest time, Michael and I cranked it through the pasta maker to number 8. We ended up with seven long flat sheets of pasta. Carefully, we placed approximately 2 teaspoons of the ravioli mixture on half of the pasta sheets, brushed with water around the corners and then folded the other half of the pasta. Next, with our handy square ravioli stamp, we punched out the delicious pockets of ravioli. One quickly learns what too much and too little ravioli mixture is (too much-ravioli does not seal properly, too little-air pockets with mixture). We had a few ravioli with too little or too much filling of course! In a pot of boiling salted water, I cautiously put the ravioli in for 3-4 minutes; the last thing we want is a burn from the boiling water (Michael can tell you more about that , ). At this point, I gently took them out with a mesh strainer spoon and added them to a saucepan with melted butter. I sautéed the ravioli for a couple of minute to just soak up some of the butter. We plated them and topped with extra pecorino cheese and fresh cut mint. We served the ravioli with some blackened Copper River Sockeye Salmon (Incidentally, we took a gander at the Copper River when we were in Alaska last summer, a spectacular backdrop below the Wrangell Mountains!). Michael blackened the salmon with a mixture of golden brown sugar, salt, tarragon, and black pepper. It is easy to do and only takes a few minutes a side on a grill pan indoors.
On to the taste test, from the fruits of our labor: the flavors of mint and lemon burst in your mouth regardless of the size of the bite. The potato created a creamy texture that held up to the flour pasta, not too heavy or thick. In contrast to the last time, our ravioli’s had the right texture, in that they weren’t too thick, and yet they had some density to them. The caramelized salmon fillet took on another sweetness that was paired well with the refreshing nature of the mint and lemon in the ravioli. Michael selected a sparkling rose’ (Pinot Noir from Deutschland, Weingut Leo Hillinger. Leo SECCO 2007, $19.99 from Vino Verite, a local Capitol Wine Shop). The nose produced smells of strawberry and citrus zest, and in the mouth it had a nice strawberry tartness. Our second ravioli attempt did not disappoint. Thanks Megan for the ravioli stampers! We look forward to making more this summer, and of course stuffing them this fall.