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Homemade Ravioli

Old Spice Mar 18, 2007 03:12 PM

I have a couple of questions for you experienced homemade pasta makers out there.

Recently, my best friend/cooking buddy and I spent the most marvelous Saturday afternoon. We made homemade pasta for the first time. After years of talking about how we must do this, he bought the pasta attachment for his Kitchen Aid and the ice tray-like ravioli maker and we were good to go. We made quite the project out of it: two different dough recipes, different cooking times, three different ravioli fillings and three sauces.

All in all, we were pretty satisfied with our first attempt. Marcella Hazan's dough recipe was the clear winner. I'm sure we'll continue to experiment, but for now, hers is the control.

One thing we need to work on is the texture of the pasta around the seams. While the top and bottom parts of the dough were silky and properly cooked, the seams were chewy. Adding a minute to the cooking time helped, but didn't eliminate it altogether. We were both loathe to cook them any longer, as the bulk of the pasta surface was nicely cooked and we didn't want that to get gluey. Note that this was less marked in Marcella's pasta, which had a higher egg:flour ratio than the other recipe.

We glued the seams with an eggwash, as every source we consulted directed. But I'm wondering if the protein from the eggs might have contributed to the chewiness. Recently, I watched Lidia Bastianich making hand-formed stuffed pasta, and she used plain water for her glue.

Another thought we had was that the dough might have taken a bit of a beating with the ravioli form. You know, where you fill the little wells, and then use the little rolling pin to close everything up and cut the raviolis. Might we have had a differerent result if we'd hand-formed the raviolis instead, an experiment we discussed but just forgot to do in our giddiness?

Or, is there another explanation?

Thanks for your help.

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    Mel RE: Old Spice Mar 18, 2007 07:35 PM

    we always used just water to seal the edges of the dough, and dried them a little before cooking. I have used the pasta recipe from the Chez panisse cookbook and like it the best out of the ones that I have tried.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Mel
      Old Spice RE: Mel Mar 19, 2007 04:39 AM

      Thanks, Mel. I'll definitely check out the Chez Panisse recipe.

      1. re: Mel
        abourget RE: Mel May 4, 2007 06:45 PM

        Which Chez Panisse cookbook has the recipe? Thanks

        1. re: abourget
          Mel RE: abourget May 5, 2007 09:32 AM

          the pizza, pasta calzone book... it is real simple
          cup of flour, dash of salt one egg... begin to kneed.... add water to hold together... let rest for about 45 minutes and you have a great ball of dough... good for 2 to 3 servings.

      2. bolivianita RE: Old Spice Mar 18, 2007 07:47 PM

        Same here as far as sealing, just water. also could be your dough was a little too thick?

        1 Reply
        1. re: bolivianita
          Old Spice RE: bolivianita Mar 19, 2007 04:39 AM

          bolivianita: While we got both doughs very thin, I do think that we got Marcella's the thinnest. It just handled easier than the other dough recipe we tried. Since the chewey seams were less marked with her pasta, the thickness may have played a part. Something to pay attention to in Round 2. Thanks.

        2. coastie RE: Old Spice Mar 18, 2007 07:51 PM

          I use a VERY thin corn starch slurry

          1. a
            ali patts RE: Old Spice Mar 19, 2007 05:08 AM

            I don't use 'glue'. I make mine by hand - have always wondered about the tray and rolling pin thing thinking it would make life easier but have never bought it! Making by hand does mean that you can press the seams together thoroughly and as a result the pasta at the seam is the same thickness as the pasta covering the filling so it cooks in the same time. It sounds to me like the chewyness problem is caused by the pasta at the seam being thicker than the pasta covering the filling - does the rolling pin situation just seal the edges and cut or does it actively roll the thickness of the pasta down at the seam so all the pasta is the same thickness?

            2 Replies
            1. re: ali patts
              GretchenS RE: ali patts Mar 19, 2007 07:41 AM

              That's what I think too -- the seams were chewier because they were thicker. I do mine by hand and press the seams carefully to the same thickness as the single-thickness tops and bottoms and have no chewiness problem, even using an egg for glue.

              1. re: ali patts
                Old Spice RE: ali patts Mar 19, 2007 11:08 AM

                This makes sense. Although the raviolis got a lot of rolling (why I worried if it might have taken a beating it didn't like), I can see how one's own fingers could do a better job of equalizing the thickness of the seams to the rest of the ravioli.

              2. Megiac RE: Old Spice Mar 19, 2007 08:58 AM

                I also glue with water (applied with a pastry brush)

                1. thatgirl153 RE: Old Spice Mar 19, 2007 09:11 AM

                  I never use "glue" But I also don't use the ravioli trays, instead I use the one stamp hand held type and cut one at a time. I then gently press the edges together with my fingers as I go along.

                  1. coastie RE: Old Spice Mar 19, 2007 11:13 AM

                    "glue" is not necessary, but I'm frequently stuck doing a couple hundred rav's and I can lay more out on the counter to fill , if I apply some glue to keep everything moist and pliable. I would assume it would be a nice tirck for someone who was beginnning and might allow the pasta to dry to much or not make a perfect seal

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: coastie
                      Old Spice RE: coastie Mar 19, 2007 07:58 PM

                      Thanks, everybody, for your suggestions. More fun experiments for round 2. And Coastie, we made a lot of ravioli first time out, but a couple of hundred? You're my new hero.

                    2. i
                      itryalot RE: Old Spice May 5, 2007 05:54 PM

                      Never seen or used anything else but water. We use a clean damp towel and pat it down so the patting and the water actually make that part of the dough thinner and then when you lay the top sheet and roll, it's all good.

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