Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Roasted garlic, Ricotta Cheese and Spinach Ravioli

Hello, everyone, happy Tuesday!  A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were wondering around one of my favorite stores, Sur La Table, and as we were talking with the clerk (after we had finished checking out), I mentioned that I'd been looking more into a ravioli mold.  
I love the idea of making ravioli, and I'd tried once before.  Once.  It didn't go well.  I'm not sure if I didn't get all of the air out, or maybe I didn't seal the ravioli well enough...I'm not sure, but it put me off trying to make them again, when the little beauties exploded as they were cooking.

However, I was getting excited to try again, because I love ravioli, but the frozen stuff you buy at the grocery stores just don't do it for me.  The pasta is a little chewy, the filling is bland...its just..okay.
I knew I could do better.  I just needed a mold.
So, I was super excited when the clerk showed me this lovely.  We had already finished checking out, but my husband is very tolerant, and as soon as he saw my face, he knew we would be going back up to the cash register.  
A few minutes later, we were walking out, with me talking his ear off about the ravioli I was going to whip up that night.

So, I had the ravioli mold all set to go, but now I had to think about the filling.  I knew ricotta cheese had to be involved, but, to me, ricotta cheese is pretty bland.  I had a bit of frozen spinach that I knew I wanted to include, so I had two ingredients, but I knew I could put in a couple of more things before it started getting out of hand.
I figured I'd toss in some mozzarella cheese for good measure, and why not include some roasted garlic?  As I mentioned in my roasted garlic chicken alfredo post, roasted garlic makes everything better!
Here is your grocery list for this one!
12 oz frozen spinach (or fresh, sauteed down)
4 roasted garlic cloves*
1 small container of ricotta cheese
1 C mozzarella cheese 

Okay!  This really is very easy, but its pretty time consuming.  Start to finish, this took me about 2 hours, but I know that as I make them more, this will go a lot quicker.  This also made 52 ravioli, so I have a good sized bag sitting in the freezer, for a super quick supper later!
To start off with, bring your roasted garlic, and spinach to room temperature (either letting the frozen spinach thaw out, or if you have sauteed fresh, let it cool down).  If you have used frozen spinach, be sure to squeeze all of the extra moisture out - you don't want any extra moisture in your ravioli. 
Smash the roasted garlic cloves up, smashing them with just a little bit of Kosher salt, and add in the ricotta cheese, mixing well. 

As you're mixing, add in the mozzarella and spinach, making sure all is thoroughly combined. 
Taste for seasonings - add salt, if it's needed, or some herbs if you'd like; set this mixture aside, and let's focus on the pasta! 
I follow all of the same steps in my fresh pasta post, except I handle each of the four sections I cut my dough ball up into, one at a time.  I take one quarter of the dough ball, roll it out to the thinnest setting of my roller, and lay it out in one long strip on my (lightly floured) counter top.  I thought about cutting it to the length of the ravioli mold, but I knew that as I added the filling, the dough would dip into the cups of the mold, and pull up.  So, if I cut it before I filled it, I would probably cut it too short.  Instead, I just draped the dough over the mold, and, using a tablespoon, filled each ravioli pod until the filling was flush with the ravioli mold. 

Once your future raviolis are all filled up, trim your dough, and lay the portion you trimmed off on top of the mold.  My mold came with a cute little rolling pin, but you can use any rolling pin you'd like.  Use your rolling pin, and roll along the top of the mold.  The dough will cut away, revealing the lovely ravioli underneath!   

How cute are these??  As you dump them out of the mold, place them on a waiting baking sheet, dusted with flour (to keep them from sticking to themselves). 
Once they're all finished, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and place however many you'd like in.  For our supper that night, I cooked off 24 ravioli, and it made a huge supper for us.  These will cook up very quickly, as fresh pasta does.  As soon as you put these into the water, they will sink to the bottom, but they will float as soon as they have finished cooking.   
Drain them off, toss with your favorite pasta sauce, and enjoy!