Yum Peaceful Cooking: Ravioli, Pasta and OMG my arms are killing me!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ravioli, Pasta and OMG my arms are killing me!

So innocent. So unassuming. So.....misleading!! Look at that soft, fluffy mound of flours. Run your fingers through it and feel it's powers to soothe. But when it's around a certain crowd of "friends", it's whole character changes. I don't even recognize it. It becomes stubborn and unyielding. It's almost as if it loses it's identity.

Or does it?

Maybe it becomes something better, stronger. Something with substance. Substantial . More enjoyable and actually versatile.

Something that can kick my butt!

Let me tell you the sequence of events that led to my ass kicking. It started out so pretty (that's how you get sucked in you know). I had won a $100 online Gift Certificate for CSNStores.com from a giveaway over at BigBlackDogs.net (Thank you sooooo much Michelle!!!) Oh man, can you say Excited?! I had some stuff tagged on CSNStores.com that I'd been wanting for a while and here was my chance.

I have to say, my experience with CSNStores.com was wonderful!

So...I bought a Belgian Waffle Maker, a Double Sided Grill / Skillet and

this Ravioli Tray:

(photo is not one I took....and those are not my ravioli's either)

I've been flirting with the idea of making pasta for quite some time. Now was the perfect opportunity. Only I don't have a pasta rolling machine thingy. But I watched lots of videos. I found one in particular that was wonderful! I just couldn't find it again (and still can't) when it came time to begin.

I did come across a recipe (found here)...although I'd like to try a different one next time (oh shit...did I say "next time?"). One that uses olive oil.

Pasta Dough

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (un-bleached)
1/2 cp semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs

Combine the flours and salt and make a nice "soothing" mound on the counter or whatever work area you'll be using. Make a "well" in the center of your flour mixture and crack the eggs into the center. With a fork, break the yokes and gently beat while carefully incorporating the flour into the mixture, gradually. Keep the walls of the flour in tact as you work your way around, clock-wise, incorporating the flour, being careful not to break through the walls, until you have a ball of dough that holds together and is not longer soupy.

Now for the work out.

Knead the dough until you have a nice smooth ball, adding flour if the dough is sticky but being careful not to add to much dough. In one of the videos I watched, they said that the kneading process would take about 5 or 10 minutes. For this novice....it took more like 20. Or maybe it took that long cuz I added a little too much flour? I dunno....I'm new to all this pasta making stuff.

Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces, wrap with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Then on a lightly floured surface, evenly roll out one piece of dough until you have a nice thin sheet

Turn and roll and turn and roll....and discover something wonderful. As tired as you are....and your arms might feel like they're about to fall off.....pasta dough is amazing! It's not sticky like pastry or bread dough. It holds it's shape and even though you have to really "work" it....it does what it's suppose to....and you get this beautifully thin dough

Never did I dream that I could do that! See my hand through dough without my fingers poking through? OMG...I love this stuff!!

So...at some point (most likely while the dough was "resting), make a ravioli filling. I had some Roasted Winter Squash from a soup recipe that I had tried of Michael Chiarello (awesome stuff!!). Thats what I had decided to put in the center of my raviolis

So I put a sheet of dough over my floured ravioli tray...pushed the little "pockets" in and then filled each pocket with a teeny tiny amount of roasted squash. Applied a second sheet of dough and then rolled over the top with a rolling pin to cut through the dough and separating the raviolis. Only....Something went terribly wrong. Squash squished everywhere and I ended up with an awful wad of yuck.

omg....all that work and the dough is a slimy mess!!!

Ok, ok....pull youreslf together. Maybe a teeny tiny amount of squishy squash was too much. Thank God I still had a couple of balls of dough. I tried it again and used even less squash. Only this time I didn't really roll the rolling pin over the top, except for a little. Oh ya, and this time I wet the dough around each ravioli and along the edge to "glue" the two sheets of dough together. I then angled the rolling pin along the edge to cut the excess dough off. Then I dumped the tray over, releasing the sheet of 24 ravioli....grabbed a handy dandy steak knife and cut the them apart

After all that, I still had some dough left but by now I was so over the squash. I think next time I need a different filling....something that holds together really well. And doesn't squish.

With the remaining dough, I made some sort of noodle.

I fried the ravioli as an appetizer

(which puffed the ravioli and shrunk the squishy squash?)

They tasted really good. But like I said, next time they need a different filling

For the noodles, I just made a Mornay Sauce and poured that over them

Loved the noodles!!! I'd make the pasta dough all over again, just for the noodles.

This is my entry this week for the Two For Tuesday Blog Hop....Click on the photo below to visit Heather's place and see all the Real Food that the others are cooking up


Oh, and about my arms....3 days later...they're still attached. And I think the soreness is almost gone. 


  1. Looks great! I've been thinking about making pasta for awhile. Maybe I get over the fear & do it!

  2. Great job! I've been dying to make pasta, but I'm just too lazy. Heh.

  3. Looks good indeed! And very brave of you to attempt this! Great job!

  4. That is super impressive, Dani!! Gorgeous, gorgeous pasta (and you know I adore fried ravioli. I've also been wanting to make my own pasta (did it a long time ago but not recently)...but alas, like Bob...I'm just to effing lazy. Awesome post...and thanks so much for sharing it with Two for Tuesdays this week =)

  5. The pasta looks gorgeous! I have been making my own fresh noodles (for soups) for several years, but they certainly don't look pretty. They are tasty however, and I get to use my own hen's eggs and fresh flour. Totally worth the few minutes to make it. But there is no kneading involved. I might sing a different tune if I had to knead for 20 min!!!

  6. OK, now I have to try this. Good job and lucky you!

  7. Homemade raviolis are the bombdotcom! I almost cried when the original batch botched! Thanks for linking to Two for Tuesdays!

  8. I am so smiling at you across the internet! I cant tell you how many times I have messed up a new cooking skill only to conquor it finally! Thanks so much for sharing your novice excitement and challenges with us on the two for tuesday recipe blog hop! :) I would love to share this recipe as one of my highlights for the blog hop on my Thoughts on Friday link love post! :) Alex@amoderatelife

  9. Gorgeous photos! Thank you for linking up at Two for Tuesday.

  10. This is one of those "calorie neutral" dishes. For every calorie you ingest, you already worked it off during the 20 minute knead workout:)

  11. Hooray for Homemade Pasta!!!! You did an AWESOME job Danielle. There is no turning back now, your right, there will be a next time, for you have crossed over to the dark side... LOL

  12. I've never made homemade pasta like this!! Great idea with the squash, too bad it didn't turn out like you wanted it to. The end result looks good but I can see why your arms are killing you!

  13. O wow, a ravioli tray! That would be dangerous for me also....

  14. Great job! That is a beautiful looking pasta dough. One of these days I'm going to tackle my own pasta dough!

  15. Great post Danielle. Thanks for your thoughts on the ravioli tray.


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