Saturday, October 18, 2008

Homemade ravioli with swiss chard ricotta cheese, rocket salad, heirloom tomatoes and caramelized cippolini onions.

This was actually one of the first times I made homemade ravioli.  I've been making fresh pasta for a while now, but I've never really liked ravioli so I never bothered making it.  The hardest part is making sure you don't end up with air pockets, otherwise your raviolis will inflate with air and explode when you are boiling them.  That's fine, IF you want to serve exploding ravioli water-soup.  

Just like fresh pasta is worlds apart from the one-dimensional dried stuff, fresh raviolis are amazing and are guaranteed to beat anything you bought at the store.  After all it's fresh pasta (GREAT) + tasty filling (EXCELLENT).  They are extremely delicate (in a good way) and since they can be filled with almost anything (think black truffle explosion at Alinea), they are extremely versatile. 

I won't go on a long diatribe on how to make fresh pasta (I'll save that for another post), but suffice to say, I wouldn't make fresh pasta without the best eggs I can find.  Here in NYC I buy my eggs from a great family farm where they allow the chickens to run wild.  They come to the neighborhood farmers market on the weekend which is perfect because the weekend is usually only when I have the time to make fresh pasta.  The yolks are a wonderful yellow/orange color, the whites are a little more runny, but the flavor is unbeatable.  Since pasta dough is just flour + eggs, the quality of the egg really shines through.

Back to exploding ravioli, the other tip I found to be helpful is to not boil them at a full boil.  A full boil might be fine for unfilled pasta, but you are almost guaranteed to end up with a wet sloppy mess when dealing with ravioli. 

The other parts of this dish were heirloom tomatoes (also from the same farmer I got the eggs from) just simply sliced, a rocket salad of sliced cippolini onions + olive oil + lemon juice, and then caramelized cippolini onions.  After boiling the ravioli, I sauteed them with some shallot, thyme, and butter (+ some ravioli cooking water) to coat the ravioli and give them a nice, light sauce so they wouldn't be too dry.  Behind the ravioli in the picture is some roasted beet which was sort of an afterthought and is probably better left that way!

1 comment:

bookworm620 said...

Frank and I have never made homemade pasta--so we are not ready to tackle homemade ravioli! Hoping to hear more about how to make pasta and any recipes you could share. We are just beginners but eager pupils.

Frank and Marsha