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Cheese and Ham Ravioli

Homemade pasta is really easy to make, you can mix it in a food processor or mixer using a dough hook. ‘OO’ flour gives the best results, if you can’t get hold of this then use a strong plain flour recommended for bread making.

Ingredients: for around 500g dough

400g semolina or ‘OO’ flour
4 medium eggs
1 x tablespoon olive oil
Semolina for dusting

Ingredients: for the filling
150g mozzarella, (one ball) drained and finely chopped
50g Parmesan, finely grated
50g Parma ham or cooked ham, roughly torn
4-5 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped (optional)
handful of fresh basil leaves, finely torn

How to make ravioli… WASH YOUR HANDS

  1. Sift the flour onto a clean work surface. Using your fingers make a well in the centre of the mound of flour.
  2. Break the eggs into the small bowl (to make sure that you can scoop out any eggshell if you need to) and then pour the eggs into the well in the centre of the flour. Add a tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Using your fingertips, gradually mix the flour into the eggs, stirring the ingredients together until they form a dough.
  4. Using both hands, knead the dough (to knead, use the ‘heel’ of your hands and push the dough away from you with one hand whilst turning it a quarter turn with the other). Knead for approximately 10 minutes until it is smooth and not sticky.
  5. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge to ‘rest’ for 30 minutes.
  6. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Split the dough into two balls, cover one ball in cling film and pop it back in the fridge. Roll out the dough ball very, very thinly. Place the pasta sheet on a clean piece of baking parchment, sprinkle with semolina and cover with cling film to prevent it drying out. Repeat with the second ball of dough.
  7. Make the ravioli filling: Mix together all the ingredients, cover and set aside.
  8. To cut into ravioli – wait until pasta is no longer very sticky, transfer one sheet to a piece of baking parchment or work surface dusted with semolina. Dust the sheet with semolina and place teaspoonfuls of filling on the sheet, making sure there is space between them. Dampen the bare areas of pasta with water and lay a second sheet on top.
  9. Press down gently between the mounds of filling sticking the sheets together and squeezing out any air bubbles. Use a round bladed knife or cookie cutter to carefully cut the ravioli shapes, making sure that the edges are securely stuck together. Dust with semolina and cover with clingfilm, repeat with the rest of the pasta sheets. (Alternatively you can keep the pasta for a couple of hours in an airtight container in the fridge.)
  10. To cook the ravioli; bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, reduce to a simmer and gently plunge the ravioli into it and cook for around 4-6 minutes until the pasta is ‘al dente’.   Drain, drizzle over some olive oil and serve with freshly ground black pepper, a scattering of basil leaves and some parmesan shavings.

To make Tortellini:

Cut discs out of the sheets of pasta with an 8cm round cookie cutter, place teaspoonfuls of the filling in the centre of each disc, wet the edges with a little water and fold the pasta over to make a semicircle. Squeeze out any air bubbles. Dab one end of the semicircle with a little water, wrap it around your finger, or borrow someone else’s, and press the edges together to stick. Take it off your (or their) finger and place it on a baking tray, sprinkle with semolina. Cook as before.