Mastering Pasta Making

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With leftover pumpkin from the pumpkin carving party food, there was only one thing I wanted: pumpkin ravioli.

I found some inspiration, but couldn’t bring myself to use wonton wrappers, so fresh pasta and my own creation it was.

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For the fresh pasta: 2 C all-purpose flour, 2 T wheat gluten, 2 eggs, ~4 T water.  Combine flour and gluten, make a well for the egg (a big one so your egg doesn’t spill out like mine did), beat egg and mix with flour, add water until dough forms, knead and let sit 30-60 min in plastic wrap.

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For the pumpkin filling: 2 C cooked pumpkin, 2 t brown sugar, 1 T butter in chunks, a few grates of fresh nutmeg.  Mixed together.  (I ended up making 1.5 times the filling for all of the pasta dough I had)

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Ravioli construction: Pasta dough was rolled out with a pasta maker, moving successively from widest to narrow (ended just before the narrowest setting to avoid getting holes), strategically cut rectangles and add filling to one half, fold the other half over, and seal the crease with water.  Let dry on plastic wrap then boil ~6 min, until floating.

20091028-DSC_0471Sauce: a few T butter, fresh sage.  Briefly fry ravioli to crisp up the pasta and incorporate the sage-butter flavor.  Serve hot and fresh.

As to be expected, this was still a tedious process, though the pasta making has become much more efficient.  Letting the dough sit is key, and patiently thinning the pasta through each setting is best.  I avoid ever folding over the pasta or running it through one size multiple times and this really sped up the process while leaving me with a nice pasta sheet at the end.  In the future I would better plan the width of the pasta for the size of ravioli since I ended up with a wide range of sizes.  Smaller really is better so you get all of the flavor and texture in each bite, though it definitely adds work.  While I haven’t ever tried using wonton wrappers, I really can’t imagine this dish being better with anything other than fresh, chewy, rich pasta.

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