Monday, May 25, 2009

Adventures in Pastamaking II

Some of you may remember that Brooke and I made our first foray into the land of homemade pasta making a good while back. Well, it took some work, so we took a little break before trying our luck a second time. We used the same recipe for the pasta itself as last time but the process was quite different this go round.

For one, we used better tools. Instead of kneading and kneading, we combined the ingredients using my Kitchenaid food processor. Oh glorious invention! After combining, we could just kneed in the additional water to adjust the pasta consistency. As well, we borrowed a Kitchenaid pasta making attachment from a generous friend, and were spared the incessant whirring of our $10 pasta machine (which will likely be $10 worth of garbage as it turns out). By using the lasagna noodle setting, we rolled out ribbons of pasta that were then used to make homemade ravioli.

Brooke and I wanted to try some very different fillings this go round, and so we also enlisted the hands of another willing partner in crime, so that we had three hands going for three fillings (and then we divided them up at the end). Brooke picked a pea and sage filling, our mystery guest chose a squash and cinnamon filling, and I picked a crab, shrimp and cream cheese filling. The first two fillings were pretty much as described above (simple fillings with few ingredients). Here is what I used for my crab and shrimp filling:
- 1/2 package of cream cheese
- 1 small tin of crab meat
- 10-12 shrimp, cooked
- zest and juice of half a lemon
- 1 tsp fresh dill
- pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy. This yielded a very lemony, dilly filling. Flavors could be decreased to simply highlight the seafood more, and the seasonings less.

All of our raviolis turned out to be quite mild in flavour, and would lend themselves well to being topped with a sauce to add some depth. For the squash version, we fried it as opposed to steaming it, which made it taste quite a lot like pumpkin pie. It would make a very interesting dessert if done larger and plated with whipped cream for a dinner party.

The ravioli making was a LOT of work, and I think I would be more likely to just go with a deconstructed version in the future (just layering pasta with filling and sauce), and passing it off as hip. It was a fun exercise though, and after the fact we came up with lots of other filling ideas. It is a good activity to do with girlfriends for an afternoon, and I would say best done sitting at a table (we had sore feet) with a glass of wine.

1 comment:

  1. I find using ravioli a mold helps the process. Put my first sheet of pasta on the mold and press it down, put in the filling, place a second sheet of pasta over top, and press together with a rolling pin. They have them at spinellis (Italian center) in assorted sizes.