Monday, August 16, 2010
Chicken Ravioli with Red Sauce
My baby girl just turned five a few weeks ago, whyyyyyy do they get older?
Anyway, for the night of her actual birthday I told her that I would make anything she wanted for her birthday. In my mind I'm expecting an answer like "corndogs!" or "macaroni and cheese!". But I should know better. My daughter is actually a bit of a foodie, she loves to watch cooking shows with me, LOVES to help in the kitchen, and loves to learn about different ingredients and techniques.
You should have seen this girl, practically shaking with options, until she finally blurts out, RAVIOLI! But not just any ravioli, chicken ravioli...with red sauce...and I want to make them with you mommy!
I guess we're making ravioli!
Never to fear though because just two weeks prior I had purchased a good old fashion pasta maker at the most magical place on earth (Williams Sonoma Outlet), for dirt cheap, and had actually been chomping at the bit to try it.
Pasta dough itself is actually really easy to make. One cup white flour, one to two cups semolina flour, mixed and made into a well. In the center you pour two eggs that have been beaten with one tablespoon of oil and two to three tablespoons of water. Gently mix it together until you are able to knead it into a dough (this is where the kids come in!).
You can add a few more drops of water if it doesn't all come together. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for at least thirty minutes. Take it out and divide it into six sections. Roll sheets two at a time. We made the mistake of flouring the dough the first time, don't do it. It needs to be a bit sticky so the rollers will grab it. Roll the dough on the largest setting (ours is seven) two or three times. It will roll out better each time, so don't get discouraged, plus the more you do it, the better you'll get. After that, change the setting to four, and roll it a final time for a thin pasta sheet, it sounds like a lot more work then it really is.
I'll be honest, I didn't measure any of my filling ingredients, but I don't actually think it's very important when making ravioli filling. In my processor I blended about a cup and a half of rotisserie chicken, two cloves of garlic, a big scoop of ricotta, a handful of shredded provolone, a handful of grated Pecorino Romano, and some salt and pepper. It blended and bound together very well, almost into a paste. I only wish that I had added some fresh parsley or basil. Once your pasta sheets are rolled, place about a tablespoon of filling an inch apart.
Brush a small amount of water on dough around the filling to help bind the top layer of dough. Place the top layer on and press dough down, releasing any air bubbles and closing around filling. I spent quite a bit of time making sure it was pressed down tightly. then you can you a knife, or your cute ravioli roller that you bought years ago with good intentions, and cut out your shapes. You can go fairly close to the filling when cutting. Then set them aside to dry. They need to dry for at least ten minutes before you boil them.
Gently place your ravioli in a well salted pot of boiling water. I only boiled a half batch at a time, and they boil for ten minutes. To my surprise not a single one burst during cooking!
The sauce was just a store bought marinara, but ended up being a delicious combo with our chicken ravioli. Despite the fact that this did not taste exactly like the Chef Boyardee that my daughter is used to, she ate all of it and was quite pleased with herself. This was a lot of fun to make with her. Cooking has become a lot of fun now that I get to do it with my kids.