“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fried Ravioli

Ciao!! A few days back, my computer was acting a little funny and making it very difficult for me to get through some of my writing. Not wanting to completely abandon my facebook page (which you can take a look at here!), I decided to just post some pictures of my upcoming recipes, including my Sausage Confit, Pizza Bianco, Sausage and Pumpkin Stew and my Fried Raviolis.

The picture of the fried raviolis gained more likes than any other picture I have ever posted, a total of 27 likes (so far!) I would say I’m not sure why these received so much attention, but yeah, I kind of do. After all, people love pasta, especially ravioli. I mean, pasta stuffed with cheese, how much more perfect can it get? And then fried and topped with parmigiana?!!? Hello!! Just writing about this is really making me wish I hadn’t eaten them all in one batch!! Every since I was little, Raviolis were always my favorite pasta and for many reasons.

One of my favorite restaurants is Frost in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We would go there with my nonna Nettie and I would always order the homemade ravioli. These ravioli were just beautiful! You got around five, but they were huge squares, each ravioli was the equivalent of 2 or 3 small ones. These memories are precious to me and as silly as it sound, when I think of the raviolis at Frost, my first thoughts are of my nonna <3. Also, my mother would make Fried Ravioli once a year for Christmas Eve as a fun appetizer, she still does! So raviolis are very special to me.

I wanted to create a bit of a spin on spinach ravioli with ricotta cheese, so these little cuties are stuffed with arugula and goat cheese and after they are fried, topped with parmigiana cheese. I know you’re all going to love them!! One of the things I love about arugula is that it has a bit of a bite because it’s nice and peppery, added with the smooth and creamy goat cheese, it’s just amazing. I’m not going to lie to you, because they are completely homemade using a pasta machine and then fried, they are a good amount of work, but I PROMISE you, it’s completely worth it.

Arugula and Goat Cheese Filling
1 bag of fresh arugula- you’ll be amazed how much arugula shrinks, so use the full bag!
1 ½ cups of goat cheese
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
1 tbsp. olive oil

First, coarsely chop all of your arugula and put in a bowl. Add goat cheese, garlic, parsley and olive oil and thoroughly mix. Let it sit in the fridge until you need it.

Ravioli Dough
eggs, plus 2 eggs, beaten for egg wash

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
1/2 cup water

In an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, add your eggs one at a time and mix. Add the flour and water; continue mixing until it forms a ball. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface, and knead the dough until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for about 30 minutes.

Cut the ball of dough in half, cover and reserve the dough you are not immediately using. Dust the counter and dough with some flour. Form the dough into a rectangle and roll it through a pasta machine, 2 or 3 times. Guide the sheet of dough with the palm of your hand. Reduce the setting and put the dough through again. Continue until the machine is at its narrowest setting. The dough should be paper-thin.
Dust the counter and dough with flour and lay out the long sheet of pasta. Brush the top surface of dough with egg wash. Drop 1 tablespoon of cooled filling about 2 inches apart on half the sheet of pasta. Fold the unfilled half over the filling. With your fingers, gently press out air pockets around each mound of filling and form a seal. Use a crimper to cut each pillow into squares. Check to make sure the crimped edges are sealed before cooking; you don’t want them falling apart!
Cook the ravioli in boiling water. When they are nice and al dente, usually after around 10-12 minutes take them out and plate them.
Next, prepare a deep pan over high heat with 1 cup of olive oil. Wait until the oil is hot and then add the raviolis carefully. Let them fry for around 5 minutes. When they are all done frying, place them on a plate that is covered with a paper towel so the excess oil can drip off. Let them sit for around 5 minutes and sprinkle with parmigiana cheese, you can be as generous as you like, so I won’t tell you exactly how much cheese to use! Serve while nice and warm. Please let me know what you think. Buon Appetito!!