I had often wondered how hard fresh, homemade, pasta would be to prepare. In my mind I imagined that it would be an all day process. I was wrong.
That said, I did use a pasta roller to roll the pasta into sheets. That made the process SO easy. If you have to roll out by hand then I would prepare for extra work and a longer prep time. If you can afford a pasta roller, or the pasta roller attachment for the Kitchen-Aid mixer, get it.
I suspect I am now spoiled by fresh pasta. I will be hard to live with, but that is ok. Considering how easy this is to make, and how well extras keep in the refrigerator after drying for thirty minutes on the counter, I believe most of my pasta will be homemade from now on.
Fresh Pasta Yield 4 servings
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
2 cups semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
All-purpose flour, for dusting if needed
Mushroom Ricotta Filling
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces crimini mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
Begin by making the mushroom filling.
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once it shimmers add the onions and cook until they soften, about five minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until the excess liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms have reduced in volume, about eight minutes. Add the garlic and cook for thirty seconds. Remove the pan from the heat to cool slightly.
In a bowl add the ricotta, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Stir in the mushrooms. Cover and chill while you make the pasta.
On a clean surface mound the flour and salt. Make a well and add the eggs.
Break up the eggs with your fingers as you mix in the semolina. Knead until the dough forms a smooth ball. Cover with plastic and let rest for thirty minutes.
Divide the dough into four balls, making sure to cover any dough you are not working with.
If you have a pasta roller follow your machines directions for rolling the pasta out. If you do not, dust your surface with a little flour and press the ball into a disk. Roll the pasta out with a rolling pin until it is very thin. If the dough springs back, or becomes difficult to work with, back cover with a towel and allow to rest for five minutes before rolling again. The thinner the better.
Trim two sheets of the dough into a rectangle. Spoon a rounded tablespoon of the filling on the dough leaving about an inch in between. Lightly brush the egg wash around each mound of filling then cover with the second sheet of dough, pressing out any air around the filling before sealing fully. Cut the ravioli and put onto a sheet pan to dry slightly while you prepare the remaining ravioli.
Boil the ravioli in salted water for five to eight minutes, or until the pasta is tender.
Serve with the sauce of your choice.