Introduction: The Only Ravioli

I love fresh pasta! So easy to make and very versatile. Ravioli are usually filled with a paste of ingredients. Personally I don't like that mush inside. The flavour can be ok but there's no texture left. Inspired by J. Olivers classic ravioli here's my take on the only ravioli.

btw Check out these pictures for added immersion. Embedding these somehow didn't work ;)

Step 1: Ingredients

For the pasta

200 grams plain flour
2 eggs
half a teaspoon of salt

For the filling

1 pack of buffela mozzarella (please ignore cow's milk mozzarella, it has no flavour).
dried tomatoes (6)
bunch of basil
150 grams fresh parmesan
about 10 slices of parma ham

extra virgin olive oil

Step 2: Mix the Ingredients for the Pasta

Add the salt to the bowl with 200 grams flour. Mix these dry ingredients and leave a dent in the middle of the flour.

Step 3: Making Pasta Dough Part 1

Break the 2 eggs in the flour and start scrambling those eggs. Keep forking the flour into the egg mixture. Try to absorb all the egg in the flour so that are no wet egg spots anymore.

Step 4: Making the Pasta Dough Part 2

Tip over the bowl onto your working surface. With your hands just shove those crumbs into a ball. Start kneading that ball into a soft, velvety, elastic dough. This is accomplished by stretching the dough, folding it over, kneading, stretching, folding, kneading etc, for about 10-15 min. If the dough is too wet (usually is), just grab a pinch of flour and knead it in. It should be about as sticky as Play Dough...

Wrap it in plastic foil and place in the fridge for at least 20 min.

Step 5: Prep the Filling

Cut down the ingredients to green pee sized chunks. Grate most of the parmesan but save some for garnish. Add all to a bowl and add plenty of pepper. No salt at this time!

Step 6: Produce the Filling Packages

In order to get a clean ravioli I found it is good practice to wrap the loose ingredients in a thin slice of parmaham instead of just cutting the parma small and add it to the rest. Also the added 'meaty' first bite of the ravioli is what makes this dish a winner.

From a single slice of parma I make about 4 packages. When you grab a little filling with your hand or a spoon, squish out the air and mold it into a nice compact shape before you place it on the slice of ham. Then close up the package. Keep going until you run out of filling or out of ham. Eat the rest on a slice of homemade bread or something.

Step 7: Making the Pasta Flat

Divide the dough into quarters. Now on floured working surface flatten the pasta to about 1 mm. I use a pasta maker. The pasta strip should be about 12 cm high.

Step 8: Construct the Ravioli

Lay down a line of fillings. Keep plenty of room in between. Then lightly wet the spaces in between the fillings with a food brush. This will make the dough blend together more nicely. Fold over the top side of the pasta strip. Do not close it too firmly since we need to let air escape before that.

Step 9: Finish the Ravioli's

With your hand, try and cup the filling from one side to the other. This is to remove most of the air from the ravioli. Keep pushing the air out until the strip is all closed up.

Then I use a ravioli tool to cut out the shapes. A fork will work too. Just make sure the 2 layers of pasta are sealed tightly.

When they are all done, gently drop into a large pan of boiling water. Boil for 3 minutes.

Drain, toss onto a warm plate.

Step 10: Make Up the Plates

Add some small basil leaves, parmesan shavings, lots of pepper, drown in quality olive oil. Enjoy! We have had fights over this food, so make enough!

Wine suggestion: Montespina Verdejo 2012, or any other slightly dry white (green) wine.

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