Tag Archives: Pasta

Toolbox Tuesday: Ravioli Press

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By Lucy Gibson, Chef Instructor

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Making pasta is a really fun activity that everyone in the family can participate in, particularly making raviolis! You can make pasta dough itself on your countertop or using a kitchen aid mixer.
With the countertop method, you start with a flour well and break the eggs into the well, using a fork to gently mix the eggs into the flour. It can get a little messy but it is well worth any mess that is made. Once the pasta dough is made it needs to rest for a while. This is the perfect time to start to make the sauce or the filling for your ravioli. We like to make a combination cheese and spinach filling for our ravioli and serve it with a homemade marinara sauce. We also make a cream and garlic sauce for homemade spaghetti.

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Once the dough is ready, you can begin to roll it through a pasta roller. A traditional roller clamps to your countertop and uses a hand crank to move the dough through rollers that can be moved progressively closer again and again until the sheet reaches your desired thickness. Electric hand mixer attachments can also be used, freeing up your second hand for catching the pasta sheet at the other end!

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There are so many ways to use the pasta: spaghetti, linguine, ravioli, lasagna- it can be an great way to spend time together and create a meal. It may not always look just the way you planned (particularly if little hands are helping), but it will be delicious and everyone will know they helped.

The ravioli maker with press is the best tool I have found to use in our kitchen for the hands on ravioli making.

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You just lay the pasta on the tray and press gently to make little indents in the pasta.

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Then, using a small cookie scoop, scoop the cheese mixture into the pasta indents and gently push into place.

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With a small bowl of water handy, dip your fingertips into the water and gently dab the pasta in between each pocket of filling.

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Put the other layer of pasta on top, press into place,

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turn out onto floured board,

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press with the template,

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and cut into ravioli portions.

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Your delicious little pasta pillows are ready to be cooked and served with your favorite sauce!

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Squishy ‘Squashy’ Yummy Pasta Pillows: AKA- DIY Butternut Ravioli

By Beth Brown, Kitchen Store Specialist

Instead of being completely devastated by the change in weather and the looming winter, I decided to celebrate the fall by whipping up the perfect combination of carbs and comfort: butternut squash ravioli!

Butternut Squash Ravioli - Allen & Petersen

What’s not to love about tender, homemade pasta dough packed into pillows full of delicious butternut squash, topped with drizzly butter and crumbled walnuts? Yeah, nothing. Trust me, and try this recipe to cure your colder-weather blues. Paired with a delicious side, this would be perfect for a fall dinner party. Or, you could have your own private party, and eat them all yourself. Your choice!

Butternut Squash Ravioli - Allen & Petersen

Never made butternut squash ravioli? I hadn’t either. This recipe was simple and really fun to make, with the help of the KitchenAid mixer and food processor, the Atlas pasta maker, and our pastry cutter and ravioli stamps. Having next-to-no experience with homemade pasta, I went with a simple egg noodle recipe from KitchenAid.

Butternut Squash Ravioli

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Pierce your butternut squash on all four sides (I used a paring knife) and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes, flipping half way through.

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This helps the squash soften a bit before cutting. Cut the squash in half length-wise, scoop out the seeds, place on a cookie sheet and brush generously with olive oil. Cook for 35-45 minutes until fork-tender.

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While that is cooking, sauté half an onion, diced, with one clove of minced garlic in olive oil until softened.

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Combine this with the cooked squash, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in your food processor until smooth.

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For the pasta dough, put 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted, into your KitchenAid mixer bowl (outfitted with the flat beater attachment), along with 1 teaspoon of salt. In a clear measuring cup, break four eggs, making sure the liquid reaches 7/8 of a cup. If it doesn’t, add water, one tablespoon at a time, until it does. Turning the mixer to speed 2, slowly add the eggs until the dough is coarsely blended. It will probably still look crumbly. If it looks really floury still, add one or two more tablespoons of water until the dough is crumbly but not dry.

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Hand-knead the dough for about a minute, until you can form it into balls. I separated my dough into four balls. Cover them with plastic wrap and let the dough balls rest for at least half an hour. This helps the gluten to process so your dough will be easier to flatten without stretching back.

Homemade Pasta - Allen & Petersen

Despite the warnings in the instructions that pasta dough could be finicky, I found it simple and pretty forgiving, so don’t be shy. Once you try homemade pasta, you’ll never want to go back! When your dough has been sufficiently rested, shape them into square disks, flattening them to fit into the pasta roller.

Atlas Pasta Roller - Allen & Petersen

Set up your pasta roller and clamp it to the counter top. Make sure to start on the setting with the rollers furthest apart and start to feed the dough through, one disk at a time. Sometimes you may have to run the dough through twice on the same number before moving the next.

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I ran the dough through from setting one up to six. You don’t want it to be too thin for ravioli, or it will break while cooking.

Butternut Squash Ravioli - Allen & PetersenButternut Squash Ravioli - Allen & Petersen

Once you have a nice, smooth, long sheet of dough, lay it flat on a clean surface, and use a scoop or small spoon to place small amounts of filling on half the dough, spaced evenly, as pictured.

Wet the edges and in between each scoop with a little water, so the raviolis will seal. Then, carefully fold the other half of the dough over the top, pressing down gently just around the filling, pushing out the air as you go.

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If your raviolis are too puffy with air, as my first attempts were, poke them with a tooth pick to get some of the air out, and squish the hole closed again. If there is too much air inside, it could burst while cooking. It sounds complicated, but it’s really very easy once you get the hang of it!

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I alternated using the pastry cutter and the ravioli stamps. Save any edges of dough, because you can run it back through the pasta maker!

Butternut Squash Ravioli - Allen & Petersen

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Once your raviolis are formed and pinched together, cook them in boiling water (add a splash of olive oil to the water, to help them not stick together). Let them cook for 3-6 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of your ravioli.

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To test their doneness, cut one in half. If you don’t see any white line, which signifies any uncooked flour, they’re done! Try not to eat them all before you make your sauce.

Butternut Squash Ravioli - Allen & Petersen

For the sauce, we simply melted butter and added some crumbled walnuts. The butter and crunch of the nuts combined with the tender pasta and rich, sweetness of the filling perfectly! Is your mouth watering yet?

Do you have any favorite pasta tips or recipes? Tell us about it in the comments!

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