I wanted to cook something special for Goldilocks, so i decided to make ravioli from scratch. It’s a time consuming and tedious process, but the good part is you can make one or two kilos to freeze and consume later.
For the filling i decided to go with sausages and mushrooms, which fits perfectly and doesn’t require a long cooking preparation, just to cook the sausage with some onion and mushrooms.
Ingredients for the filling:
- 500 grams raw sausage (around 1 pound)
- 40gr dried mushrooms (8 teaspoons)
- 1 medium white onion, finely diced (in a food processor if possible)
- 100 gr grated parmesan (1 heaping cup)
Ingredients for the pasta: (this will give you around 450gr of pasta)
- 300gr of white flour.
- 3 eggs.
This should give you around 1kg (2.2 pounds) of large ravioli.
Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl with room temperature / lukewarm water, and let them absorb the water for around two hours. follow the directions on the package for the right quantity of water for 40gr of mushrooms.
When the mushrooms are ready (1), remove them from the bowl and clean them with fresh water. (2) Keep the mushroom water from the bowl, filter it through a strainer, and place it in a pot and take to boil. We’ll use it later to give the filling more flavor.
Put a little olive oil in another frying pan (3), finely dice the onion (4) and sauté it until it becomes golden (5) (but not brown).
Then remove the sausage casing and add it to the pan (6), smash it and sauté it with the onion. The sausage should release enough fat, but if needed, you can use a little water from the mushrooms to prevent it from getting too dry.
When the sausage is cooked enough, put the mushrooms then add a ladle of the mushroom water (which should still boiling and should be reduced) and let the whole sauce cook until heated through. Try to use all the mushroom water if you can. Do NOT add salt.
Once it’s ready, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool down a bit before placing the sausage and mushroom mixture in the food processor. Blend until it becomes a sort of cream, then start adding parmesan to the mixture. The parmesan should add a salty taste to the filling and also make it more dense, but if it’s not enough just add some salt at the end and mix well.
Let the filling to cool down and put it in the fridge until it gets more compact. I usually leave it the entire night and make the pasta the day after.
Make the pasta dough as usual, then with a rolling pin (or better yet, with a pasta roller for more uniform thickness) roll it out to one millimeter thick.
Place balls of filling on one half of the pasta so that there’s around one inch between them and to the sides, then cover it with the other half.
Cut the pasta into squares and press all sides of each square with your fingers to make the top side to attach to the bottom. If the pasta is too dry, brush it with a very little water to make it sticky. Eventually press the center a little to even out the filling.
Let the ravioli dry for half an hour at room temperature. It shouldn’t take long since the pasta is thin. Then place them in the freezer and freeze them. This way they won’t attach to each other.
They can stay in the freezer up to 6 months, depending on the filling.
How to cook them:
Since the filling should be the star here, the sauce should be simple. For this specific kind of ravioli, I mix two/three spoons of heavy cream with grated parmesan. Since parmesan is also in the filling, using it in the sauce unifies the the flavors without the sauce overpowering the filling.
Bring the water to a boil, add salt, and then the frozen ravioli. Let it return to a boil, and then boil for one minute. This should be enough for the filling to become hot. Drain the ravioli and place them in a hot pan with a little cooking cream, a handful of parmesan, and a little pasta water.
Cook at very high heat for a minute or two, or until the pasta water evaporates and the cheese and cream melt together. Plate and serve. Buon appetito!