I Need Ravioli Help
Well, I bought a metal ravioli mold from Sur La Tabla -- Had a hard time choosing, finally bought the smallish squares, 3 rows. I tried out my new Pasta attachment for the Kitchenaid and liked it so much more than the hand cranking one.
Well, the pasta strips I did to the smallest setting, # 8 and they were sometimes not quite wide enough for the mold. (Also, I needed to be more careful not to overstuff.) First batch, a lot were no good because were not enclosed. The good ones were great. (I made a San Marzano sauce and added heavy cream toward the end.)
I don't know if I need more practice, a different mold, or "stamp." (I also tried using the rolling pin with indentions (that I've only used as decoration) but that made a big mess.)
The filling was cooked fresh spinach (wrung dry), ricotta, grated parmesan and pecorino and some nutmeg.
Sur La Tabla will let me return this so if something else is better, please let me know.
I've got a dumb question.
Why use the mold over just placing a dab of the stuffing over the bottom sheet, then the layer of top pasta, then paint egg wash, press around with your fingers to get the air out and finally use a cutter with the ruffled edges? I really want to know, because this is the way I was going to make mine??? Is it for perfect ravioli?
Thanks for the tip to drain the ricotta by the way!
I'm not quite sure what you mean by "not quite wide enough for the mold".
Essentially you should lay a sheet of dough over the whole mold, expecting there to be a good half inch to inch hanging off either side. Poke down the pockets and fill. Lay a whole single sheet over the top, and roll over the whole kit and kaboodle with a rolling pin to both cut and seal the ravioli.
Make sure your pasta sheets are thick enough so that they seal at the demarcations on the mold. Too thin and there won't be enough pressure.
One sheet of pasta should go over all 3 rows of the form. There should be raised ridges on the form that'll 'cut' through the dough when you roll a rolling pin over the form.
Hint: keep a spray bottle of water handy. Spray the filled bottom sheet of pasta just before you lay the top piece of pasta on.
Hint: hit a restaurant supply store for a micro-sized scoop, or disher as they're called, or use a cookie press with an icing tip attachment. I find that the screw-type Mirro cookie press works best for me.
Stamps are good, but very time consuming.
Thank you for the detailed advice.
The sheets that come out of the machine are not quite wide enough; maybe I should use a rolling pin to flatten them out more. In recipes I read that for ravioli you should use the thinnest setting; maybe I should try next thinnest. I dislike store bought because they seem too thick.
I did not use the water trick -- some recipes use beaten egg or beaten egg white. Maybe next time I'll try that.
Do you make your own pasta sheets? If yes, how?
What kind of filling do you like to use?
My Italian mother in law uses a similar mold to make her ravioli and she has perfected the process after many, many years of experience. My first attempt making them was also a disaster so don't give up! She uses a rolling pin to press the sheets together over the mold. A dab of water helps seal it. I like her mold, but the thing I found that works best for me is the hand held cutters, specifically a circle shaped one works best for me.
This is also a tip which changed my ravioli making forever, drain the ricotta overnight in a cheese cloth or small holed colander. This makes a huge difference in that the ricotta won't be watery and drip out of the ravioli while you're making them or cooking them.
Also, something that helps with the cooking is to flash freeze them on a cookie sheet before you cook them. This really firms them up.
Hope this helps!
re: upstate girl
My mold came with a little rolling pin that I used but I think I need to use one to make my sheets a little wider -- and put in less filling. So she uses water to seal, not beaten egg? Both the mold and the kitchenaid parts came with no recipes or instructions. Maybe I'll look on kitchenaid website.
I'll try the freezer trick.