Sorry it’s been so long since I last blogged.  My only excuse is that I’m lazy and didn’t feel like writing.

My parents got a pasta maker for Christmas.  At first I thought this would just be another kitchen appliance/object that would be used once or twice before being tucked away in the back of a cupboard before eventually being given away to a relative or Goodwill.  I was wrong.  The pasta maker is awesome!

If you have a lot of time to cook, don’t mind a lot of work and a big mess, and have a lot of counter space then I recommend this little device.

We decided to make ravioli for the pasta maker’s trial run on (actual) Christmas Eve.  If you like ravioli you will most likely enjoy homemade ravioli even more.

Here’s how it’s done:

Obtain flour and eggs.  Most stores have these items.  (don’t forget to put a towel on your shoulder)

In a bowl combine two cups of flour with three eggs (I think that’s the right quantities).  Put the flour in the bowl first and make a little well in the middle.  Crack the eggs into the well to make a little yoke pond.

Slowly incorporate the eggs into the flour.  If the dough appears too crumbly and dry just add a little water.  Not too much though!  I also mixed a little olive oil in.

Knead the dough into a ball.

Put a damp towel over it so it doesn’t dry out.  Let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes.

While you are waiting for the dough to….I’m not sure what it’s doing under that towel…it’s time to prepare the filling for your raviolis.  The first time we did this we made a venison sausage filling and a ricotta and herb filling.  First, the sausage.  Brown the meat in a pan.

Add some onions.

Pretty straight forward.  Now for the ricotta and herb filling.  In case you are wondering, ricotta is a type of cheese.  Some of you may have just learned something new.  I pronounce it like the word terracotta.  If you’re fancy you might pronounce it like “rick-coat-ah.” (I think.  I don’t know.  I’m not fancy.)  Anyway, put the cheese in a bowl.

Then add some herbs.  I think we used parsley, but I can’t really remember.  It may have been oregano, or maybe basil.  It was something green, dried, and leafy.  I attempted to grind the herbs up in the fancy mortar and pestle we got for my dad for Christmas.  It didn’t really work.  But here’s a picture anyway.

My dad made some marinara sauce because you need a sauce with ravioli.  I have no idea how he makes it or what’s in it.  I’ve never thought to ask.  As long as he keeps making it and it’s delicious I don’t care how it’s done or what’s in it.  He has made this sauce for as long as I can remember.

Now that the dough has rested and the fillings are done, it’s time to make pasta.  Cut a small chunk off your dough ball.

Flour the machine and put the dough through.

Then make this face while holding your little dough baby.

Then fold the dough in half and run it through the machine again another 2 or 3 times on the highest setting.

Keep lowering the settings and running the dough through until it is a nice flat sheet.

Make sure to periodically flour the machine.

You’re going to need quite a few sheets, which is why you should have a lot of counter space if you plan on making your own ravioli.  After you have made each sheet lay it out flat on the counter.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Here’s something cool.  Not sure your pasta sheets are thin enough?  Place it over a newspaper or some other written material.  If you can read the print through the pasta sheet then you’ve made it thin enough.  Cool, huh?  I now read everything through pasta sheets.

Once you have enough sheets it’s time to start placing your filling.  Evenly space spoonful sized globs of the filling along the length of a pasta sheet.

Then brush the pasta sheet with a mixture of egg whites and water.  This will help the pasta sheet you will be placing on top of the one with the filling adhere better so none of the filling spews out when you boil it.

Place a clean pasta sheet over the one you just put filling and egg white stuff on.  Press around the filling, removing as much air as possible.  Cut the pasta into squares around the filling.  You can reuse excess pasta dough.  Press a fork along the edges of each little ravioli square to seal it.  Drop a few of the raviolis into a boiling pot of water for about 4 minutes.

Put some sauce and Parmesan cheese (Parmesan is a different kind of cheese from the ricotta you used earlier.  There are many types of cheese) on them and enjoy!

They also freeze really well.  Chances are you won’t be able to eat all the raviolis you made.

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