Ever since we bought our Kitchen Aid Mixer (kneel down, bow your head in a moment of silence, please), I have only used it for one thing – making pasta. I am not a baker. I can not even pretend to be one. In fact, the other day, I thought I’d be cute and also use up some rotting fruit by making a Strawberry Cake. A-hole me left out one itty bitty part of the recipe. It was such a small part of the recipe I must’ve just skipped over it!! Butter, check. Milk, check. Sugar, check. Eggs… got it. Oven, on. After an hour of cooking, I realized my attempt to be a cute wifey failed. So I forgot the freaking baking powder!!! SUE ME. And here’s another ‘baker insiders tip” – no matter how long you cook a cake made without baking powder, it will never rise, cook properly or look/taste normal. I took a picture of the pitiful thing, but I’m too embarrassed to post it.
But I digress… I’m better at cooking. I’m better at not really having to measure things exactly. I’m better at making pasta with my Kitchen-Aid Mixer. I was craving a stuffed pasta. We had some watercress and I figured, why not stuff my rav’s with that? For the sauce I was reminiscing about the first course we had at our Italian wedding last June – it was a radicchio-stuffed pasta with a radicchio sauce. Radicchio overload? I think not. Some people are not fans of this Italian purple leaf vegetable, similar to how some just can’t stand the bitterness of broccoli di rape. Radicchio has a strong flavor and you know instantly when it’s been mixed in with other greens. It is also known as chicory and has a bit of a bitter taste. But what I love about radicchio is that it tastes delicious chopped raw, grilled with some olive oil and sprinkled with salt and a squeeze of lemon, or cooked in a sauce. Originally from the Veneto region, radicchio actually has many different looks and each type is named for the area of Italy it comes from. The version I used, and the one most common in the U.S. is radicchio di Chioggia, a town outside of Venice.
This dish worked really well together. The pepperiness of the watercress and the mellowed bitterness of the radicchio was balanced out perfectly by the creamy ricotta and, of course, the butter. For a quicker version, feel free to use wonton wrappers if you can’t make your own ravioli, but once you try making homemade pasta, you’ll realize how easy it really is!
As I was writing this post I came across a fun blog with tasty recipes called Proud Italian Cook, by linking from another favorite Greek-cuisine and beyond blog of mine, Kalofagas. Proud Italian Cook and Finding La Dolce Vita, Festa Italiana another great blog with beautiful Italian recipes and pictures, are teaming up for an event called . I thought, what a great way to spread the love and also meet some new peeps out there in food blog world, so I’m entering this recipe for the event.
WATERCRESS AND RICOTTA RAVIOLI WITH A RADICCHIO BUTTER SAUCE (Serves 4 as a Main, 6 as a Starter)
Ingredients for the Ravioli (I always use Lidia Bastianich’s Poor Man’s Pasta recipe – makes 1 pound of pasta, but I only used about 3/4 of the pound for this recipe):
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons water
Other Ingredients for the Ravioli:
- 8 oz. (1 cup) of whole milk ricotta, drained
- 1/2 shallot, minced (may substitute with 1/4 onion, minced)
- 1 clove garlic, minced finely
- 1 bunch of watercress, chopped
- 1/2 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
Ingredients For the Sauce:
- 3/4 stick of unsalted butter
- 1/3 head of radicchio, sliced in 1/2-inch ribbons
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced (may substitue 1/2 onion, thinly sliced)
- salt and pepper
- more Parmigiano Reggiano, grated for garnish
How to Make the Ravioli’s:
- BY HAND: Sift the flour to aerate it into a big mixing bowl. In separate bowl, beat eggs and add the oil and water to the bowl. Make a well in the middle of your flour and pour your wet ingredients into the well. Slowly incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry with a fork until it’s mixed. Knead into the bowl to completely incorporate it together then put dough onto floured board and knead for few minutes (2 – 3). Add more flour or water if it’s too wet or too dry. When it’s a good consistency and has been kneaded, allow to rest for a bit.
- USING FOOD PROCESSOR: Use regular, large blade. Put flour in and pulse a few times to aerate. In separate bowl, beat eggs and add the oil and water to the bowl. With machine running, add your wet ingredients and run for 30 seconds. Dough will form quickly. Scrape sides of food processor if necessary. Turn dough onto floured board and knead for few minutes (1-2). Add more flour or water if it’s too wet or too dry. When it’s a good consistency and has been kneaded properly, allow to rest for a bit.
- HOW TO ROLL OUT: Slice a 2-inch piece of your dough to roll out. Roll your dough out using a rolling pin (hope you have some muscles!) or using a pasta machine. I never let it go thinner than the 5th or 6th setting on my machine (Kitchen Aid). Put each strip you roll out on a floured surface, not touching each other. Put a floured kitchen towel on top before adding more pasta strips down on top of the others.
- HOW TO SHAPE, STUFF AND SEAL: Depending on the shape you want will depend on how you stuff and cut your pasta. Here are a few easy ways to cut some ravioli:
- For circular ravioli, you can use a glass or a ravioli stamp and ‘cut’ the pasta the shape/size as the glass (I often use a glass with a 3 to 6 inch diameter depending on how big you want your ravioli). Put a bit of stuffing in the middle of the circle and wet all the side of the pasta with a bit of water. Top with another circle of pasta and squeeze all around to seal it. Sprinkle a bit of flour on the ravioli and lay on a floured baking sheet. Do not allowing each rav to touch the other made ravioli’s while they wait to be cooked.
- You can also put a bit of stuffing towards the bottom of the strip of pasta, then fold the end of pasta over (the way I did in this recipe), seal with a bit of water and cut around so it is more of a square shape, but the stuffing is at the bottom of one part of the pasta. Sprinkle a bit of flour on the ravioli and lay on a floured baking sheet. Do not allowing each rav to touch the other made ravioli’s while they wait to be cooked. THEY SHOULD LOOK LIKE THIS:
- Without cutting the sheets of pasta you roll, figure out how big you want your ravioli’s and put a bit of stuffing on the long pasta strip every 3 to 6 inches (again, depending on how big you want your ravioli). You will moisten the area of pasta around each bit of stuffing with some water and then lay another rolled out strip directly on top of the bottom one. Using your fingers, squeeze the top strip on to the bottom moistened strip around each bit of stuffing. Once it is sealed, use a pasta/ravioli cutter or just a regular old knife and cut your pasta from the big, long strip. This will give you square-shaped ravioli (unless you’re creative and cut it differently!). Squeeze around the sides again to make sure it’s sealed. Sprinkle a bit of flour on the ravioli and lay on a floured baking sheet. Do not allowing each rav to touch the other made ravioli’s while they wait to be cooked. AFTER THEY ARE CUT, THEY WILL LOOK LIKE THIS:
How to Make the Stuffing:
- Saute your shallot, garlic and watercress in some olive oil on medium until soft. This should take about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and put in a bowl. Allow to cool for a couple minutes.
- To the bowl w/ your shallot, garlic and watercress, add the ricotta, the cheese and salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. You’re done and ready to stuff your ravioli (see above). You may have some left over, or you can use it up by making more pasta!
How to Make the Radicchio Butter Sauce:
- Boil some salted water for your ravioli’s.
- Saute the shallot in a pat of butter for a few moments till soft.
- On medium to low heat, add the rest of your butter. Allow to melt, but do not allow to color. While butter is melting, add your ravioli to the boiling water. They will be cooked in about 1 to 2 minutes and will float to the top when ready.
- Once butter is melted, add your radicchio ribbons and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook only for a minute. You do not want them to completely melt, but to wilt so you can still get the strong flavor of it.
- Add your cooked ravioli to the sauce and toss. When butter sauce has covered each ravioli, plate a few on your plate, spoon on some extra butter sauce with some wilted radicchio and sprinkle parmigiano on top. Enjoy!
SEE SOME OF OUR OTHER PASTA RECIPES:
- GNOCCHI DI PATATE WITH A BROWN BUTTER, SAGE, BREADCRUMB SAUCE
- FETTUCCINE FRA’DIAVOLO WITH CRAB AND SHRIMP
- CREAMY LEMON PASTA
- PASTA (PERCIATELLI/BUCATINI OR SPAGHETTI) AL’AMATRICIANA (ROMAN CLASSIC PASTA DISH)
- PASTA WITH LEEKS, ASPARAGUS, MUSHROOMS AND GRUYERE, TOPPED WITH A FRIED EGG
- ORECCHIETTE WITH SAUSAGE AND KALE
- PASTA WITH LEFTOVER VEG IN A CREAMY WINE SAUCE
- PASTA (BUCATINI) WITH PISTACHIO SAUCE
- PASTA WITH TUNA (Pasta Con Tonno)