(makes about 45 ravioli)
Carmelo Sortino told me the secret of his ravioli stuffing. "Use 3 different meats, for more flavour, and cook the meat into a meat loaf, then crumble it to use as a stuffing. Slice the leftovers and use them in sandwiches, meat sauce, whatever." The pasta dough recipe is an old standby from a pasta cookbook I've had for years and works well with the food processor. To do the best job with this recipe, you should have a pasta machine to roll out the dough. You can do it by hand, but it makes the recipe much more difficult! This recipe may seem long, it's not that complex and you can make the filling the day before you make the ravioli.
For the Pasta Dough:
- 1½ cups unbleached white flour
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp. olive or vegetable oil
- 1-5 tbsp. cold water, as needed
Put the flour, salt, eggs and oil into the bowl of your food processor and blend for about 10 seconds. You want the mixture to be crumbly, but also stick together when you squeeze some crumbs between your fingers. Add water if needed to increase the stickiness, one tablespoon at a time.
Turn out from the bowl onto a smooth, floured surface. Knead the dough to bring all the crumbs together and form into a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap or cover with an inverted bowl for about 30 minutes.
Once the dough has rested, cut it into four equal pieces and keep the dough you're not using wrapped or covered. Stretch the dough into a bit of a rectangle, lightly flour it and start feeding the dough through floured pasta machine rollers at the widest setting. As the dough becomes smoother, start reducing the width of the rollers until you end up with a very thin, single sheet of dough. (For ravioli I usually roll to the next-to-thinnest setting) Cut the dough in half so you have two sheets of equal length. One will be the bottom for the ravioli, one for the top. Roll out the dough as you need it to use up your filling. Extra dough will keep in the fridge for a few days. Return to room temperature before rolling.
- 1 pound each of ground pork, turkey and veal
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp. each, dried oregano, thyme and basil
- ½ bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together to blend. You will find it easiest to use your hands! Divide the filling into two oiled loaf pans and seal tightly with foil. Put the pans into a large roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with water until the level is about an inch up the sides of the loaf pans. (this is called a bain-marie) Put the roasting pan in the oven and bake for about one and a half hours and so that the filling has cooked through. Pour off any excess fat or water from the loaf pans and cool. For the dough recipe above, you will only need about half of one loaf. Slice and freeze the rest for future use. Cut the quarter-loaf into large chunks, then chop in the food processor until it is just crumbly.
To assemble: Beat an egg, and brush one sheet of dough with the egg. Drop the filling, about one teaspoon at a time, onto the dough, in two rows as you make your way down the sheet. Place the other sheet of dough on top of the filled sheet, and press down with your fingers to seal around the filling. Cut into individual ravioli with a sharp knife or pastry cutting wheel, pressing out any air bubbles as you transfer them onto a floured baking sheet. The ravioli are now ready to cook, or can be frozen on the sheet, then stored in a smaller container and cooked right from their frozen state.
Sauce: (Serves 4)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cups of sliced white, brown or Portobello mushrooms
- ¼ cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in warm water, soaking liquid strained and reserved
- ¼ cup white wine, or mushroom liquid
- Salt & pepper to taste
- ¼ cup whipping cream (optional)
- chopped basil or other fresh herbs for garnish
- Grated Parmesan cheese
Melt the butter with the olive oil in a medium frying pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and stir, frying until it turns golden brown. Add the sliced white mushrooms, and stir to coat with the garlic/butter mixture. When the mushrooms are soft, add the reconstituted mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Then add the white wine or mushroom liquid and simmer, letting the mushrooms absorb some of it. Stir in the whipping cream if desired. In the meantime, place 10 of the ravioli into boiling, salted water and cook just until the pasta still has some bite to it. (this will only take a few minutes) Drain, and gently stir the ravioli into the sauce. Serve with lots of parmesan and the chopped basil.