Monday, March 22, 2010

Three Cheese Ravioli

For my dad's birthday I promised him a homemade dinner and dessert of his choice. I knew he would choose Apple Pie for the sweet ending of the meal, and I was wanting to make homemade pasta for the main course. But in what form?  When I saw Aldi carry Ricotta cheese as a specialty item and then I recounted Annie's Ravioli recipe, I knew I had a winner.  Everyone was quite pleased with the meal and it came together in just an hour's time--including dough, filling, and cooking. 

The batch of dough I make fed four of us perfectly, but I did have leftover filling.  I refrigerated it and tonight made a half batch of dough and tried my hand at mezzalunas--half moon shaped ravioli. It was even easier to make and with the addition of Italian seasoning to the dough round 2 of raviolis turned out amazingly delicious. Kevin says he thinks it's the best meal I've ever made and that he would never get tired of having it. Alrighty, then! :D

Recipe Adapted from Annie's Eats.
½ cup part-skim ricotta
½ cup shredded mozzarella
 ½ cup shredded parmesan
1 clove garlic, finely minced
¼ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. dried parsley
¼ tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 batch fresh homemade pasta
Marinara sauce, for serving

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, garlic, and spices. Mix well to blend. Roll out homemade pasta into long, thin sheets. To make ravioli, use a shaped cookie cutter or a biscuit cutter to cut out pasta shapes. Place about 2 teaspoons of filling in the middle of  half of the cut outs, leaving a clear edge around the perimeter. (OR to make Mezzalunas--half moons--fill the half of each pasta round with filling and fold over to seal.) Dip a finger in water and lightly brush around the edges of a heart topped with the filling. Place one of the remaining pasta rounds on top and press the edges of the pasta shapes together to seal around the filling, being careful to press out any excess air. Repeat with the remaining dough shapes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook the ravioli until al dente, about 5 minutes.  Serve in warmed bowls with marinara sauce.

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