Fresh Pasta Dough

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately 1 pound of pasta

INGREDIENTS

3 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

To make dough in a processor:
Blend flour, egg, and salt in a food processor until mixture just begins to form a ball (dough should be firm and not sticky). Process dough for 15 seconds more to knead it. Transfer to a floured surface and let stand, covered for about 30 minutes for the dough to relax.

To make dough by hand:
Mound flour on a work surface, preferably wooden, and make a well in center. Add egg and salt.
With a fork, gently beat eggs and water until combined. Gradually stir in enough flour to form a paste, pulling in flour closest to egg mixture and being careful not to make an opening in outer wall of well.
Knead remaining flour into mixture with your hands to form dough, adding more water drop by drop if dough is too dry (dough should be firm and not sticky). Knead dough until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

Roll pasta:
Divide dough into 8 pieces, then flatten each piece into a rough rectangle and over rectangles with an inverted large bowl. Set rollers of pasta machine on widest setting. Follow directions on pasta maker to roll and cut the desired pasta.

Rigatoni Amatriciana

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

4 ounces Pancetta, cubed
1 yellow onion, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
Salt and pepper
1 (28 ounce) can of Italian peeled tomatoes, crushed with hands
1 pound rigatoni, cooked
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup grated Pecorino cheese, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

In a large sauté pan, add cubed pancetta slices in a single layer and cook over medium-low heat until most of the fat has been rendered from the meat, turning occasionally. Remove the meat to a plate lined with paper towels and discard half the fat, leaving a little fat. Increase the heat to medium and add sliced onions, cook, stirring occasionally until translucent, 5 minutes. Next, add garlic and red chili flakes and cook 2 minutes more. Return the pancetta to the pan, and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until the onions, garlic and pancetta are light golden brown. Season with salt and pepper, add then add the tomatoes, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce has begun to thicken. Add cooked rigatoni to pan and coat pasta in sauce. Add parsley and serve with Pecorino cheese.

Wild Mushroom Ravioli with Porcini Cream Sauce

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For ravioli

¼ cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 cups mixed mushrooms, chopped fine
Salt and pepper
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped fine
½ cup fresh ricotta cheese
¼ cup grated Pecorino cheese
2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
Fresh pasta sheets

For sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small shallot
½ cup white wine
¾ cups reserved porcini liquid
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped fine
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup grated Pecorino cheese, to garnish

DIRECTIONS

For ravioli

In a small bowl, place dried porcini mushrooms and pour hot water just to cover, about ¾ cups. Let sit for 20 minutes and then strain mushrooms, reserving liquid. Chop mushrooms into small pieces and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add olive oil. Add shallots and cook, stirring constantly until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Next, add mushrooms (including chopped and reserved porcinis) and sauté until beginning to turn brown and caramelize. Season with salt and pepper and then add lemon zest and juice. Take off heat and add herbs, ricotta and pecorino cheeses and heavy cream (if using). Cool and then use to fill raviolis.

Place large pasta sheet on cutting board with the long side parallel to the edge of work surface. Place 8 heaping teaspoons of mushroom filling along the top third of the sheet about 2 inches apart. Moisten pasta around each mound of filling, using a pastry brush or your fingers dipped in water. Fold the dough up and over the filling to enclose; press around filling to seal. Cut between mounds with a plain pastry wheel, cookie cutter or knife. Transfer to floured baking sheet. Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Chill until ready to cook.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add about 6 ravioli per serving, and cook until tender but al dente, about 2 minutes. When ravioli are done, use a slotted spoon to remove from boiling water. Drain well, and keep warm while making sauce.

For sauce

In same sauté pan that you cooked the mushrooms in, over medium heat, add oil. Add shallots and cook, stirring constantly until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add white wine to deglaze the pan, scrapping up any mushroom bits. Reduce until almost all is evaporated. Next, add porcini liquid and again, reduce by ¼. Add heavy cream and cook, 3 to 4 minutes until thick and creamy. Add fresh thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper. Pour over wild mushroom raviolis and garnish with Pecorino cheese and serve.

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