Recipes: How to Throw a Ravioli Party

Cooking with children is fun and educational. But if you turn it into a party they will love you forever. Here is a brilliant post that shows you How to Throw a Ravioli Party. It can even become the theme for a Birthday Party. The recipes have been extracted from Noodle Kids by Jonathon Sawyer, published by Quarry Books (£15.99).

How to Throw a Ravioli Party collage

Our family is big on the ravioli party. It turns our usual family dinner into a fun afternoon activity. It’s really a four-step process.

Step 1: roll the fresh pasta dough; step 2: pick the filling; step 3: shape the ravioli; step 4: cook it; and step 5: Eat!

There are lots of projects here that the kids can help with, but their favorite parts are always step 3 (shaping) and step 5 (eating). This recipe feeds our family of four. You can make an additional batch of dough and double the filling if you want a bigger ravioli party or some pasta to freeze for another meal.

 

1 Roll the Fresh Pasta Dough

If you don’t have or don’t want to use a stand mixer and pasta machine, you can knead and roll the ravioli dough by hand. It takes some time, but it’s also a lot of fun to play with your food that way.Ravioli

 

INGREDIENTS

5 large organic eggs

5 teaspoons (25 ml) water, at room temperature

5 teaspoons (25 ml) cold-pressed, extra-virgin oil

4 cups (500 g) organic all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

 

OTHER STUFF

Stand mixer with a dough hook or large bowl

Plastic wrap

Pasta machine or rolling pin

Parchment paper

Dish towel

 

HOW TO

  1. In the bowl of the stand mixer or in a big bowl, combine the eggs, water, and olive oil and mix well. Add the flour in four parts, mixing well after each addition. Mix or knead the dough until it forms an elastic, pliable ball, about 15 minutes. If the dough is wet and sticky, you can add more flour as needed. (But you can’t add more liquid if it’s too dry, so we always err on the side of wet dough.) The amount of flour you need may vary. Dough can behave differently depending on the weather.

 

WAIT! Allow the dough to rest, covered in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 48 hours. This step is super important because it allows the wet and dry molecules of the dough to come into contact with one another and allows the dough to become completely hydrated.

 

  1. Divide the dough into four batches. Set the pasta machine on the thickest noodle setting and feed one batch of dough through the machine. Reduce the noodle setting and feed the dough through again. Repeat until you reach the second thinnest setting. When you are done, you will have a sheet of dough about 18-inches (45.7 cm) long. Repeat with the three remaining batches of dough. (If you are working with a rolling pin, dust the counter with flour and roll each batch of dough until you have a sheet less than ¼ inch [6 mm] thick.)

 

  1. For ravioli, cut the dough into 3-inch (7.5 cm) square pieces and dust each one with flour. If you are using the dough for Lasagna (page 58) or Tuscan Kale and White Bean Cannelloni (page 51), cut into pieces 4-inches (10 cm) long by 2-inches (5 cm) wide. Store them stacked with a piece of parchment between each piece, covered with plastic wrap and a dish towel, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

 

YIELD: 15 ounces (420 g)

 

Chef Says…

The thinnest setting on the pasta machine is for angel hair pasta and for the professional only. If you are having trouble working with the dough, the third thinnest setting will make good ravioli, too. It will get easier to go thinner once you have had more practice.

 

2 Pick the Filling

One of the best things about ravioli—and any stuffed pasta—is that you can change it up. You can make a great ravioli filling from almost anything the kids pick out at the farmers’ market. These are some of Team Sawyer’s seasonal favorites.

 

Spring – Minty Pea Ravioli Filling

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup fresh (145 g) or fresh-frozen (134 g) sweet peas

½ cup (123 g) ricotta cheese or fromage blanc

¼ cup (25 g) grated Parmesan cheese

½ tablespoon (1 g) chopped mint

½ tablespoon (2 g) chopped parsley

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 tablespoon (15 ml) cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

OTHER STUFF

Food processor (or large bowl)

Large plastic freezer bag or pastry bag

Rubber band or kitchen string

 

HOW TO

  1. Puree all the ingredients (except a small handful of peas, which you’ll use as a garnish) in the food processor, tasting to make sure you like the seasoning. If you are working with a knife instead of a food processor, dice the peas and herbs finely, and then mix vigorously in the bowl.

 

  1. Place the puree in the plastic bag and use the rubber band or string to force all the ingredients into one corner of the bag, for easy piping.

 

YIELD: 3 cups (705 g)

 

 

Summer – Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Ravioli Filling

 

INGREDIENTS

½ head cauliflower, chopped

2 small waxy potatoes

1 tablespoon (15 ml) cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup (113 g) grated dry Jack cheese

½ cup (56 g) grated fresh mozzarella cheese

 

OTHER STUFF

Small baking dish

Food mill or food processor

Large plastic freezer bag or pastry bag

Rubber band or kitchen string

 

 

 

HOW TO

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.F (180.C, or gas mark 4). Coat the cauliflower and potatoes in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place the vegetables in the baking dish and roast until fully cooked, about 40 minutes.

 

  1. Peel the potatoes and reserve a few cauliflower florets for garnish. While the vegetables are still warm, puree the potatoes and cauliflower in a food mill or food processor. Allow the mixture to cool and fold in the cheeses. Taste for seasoning.

 

  1. Place the puree in the plastic bag and use the rubber band or string to force all the ingredients into one corner of the bag, for easy piping.

 

YIELD: 3 cups (705 g)

 

Autumn- Sweet Italian Sausage and Peppers

 

INGREDIENTS

½ cup (44 g) diced fennel

½ cup (74 g) diced red pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound (454 g) sweet Italian sausage, casing removed

½ cup (50 g) grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

OTHER STUFF

Sauté pan

Potato masher (optional)

Large plastic freezer bag or pastry bag

Rubber band or kitchen string

 

HOW TO

  1. In a sauté. pan over medium heat, sauté. the fennel, pepper, and garlic in the olive oil until cooked through. Add the sausage and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the texture fine and the mixture homogenous. (Hint: A potato masher is great for that.) Allow the filling to cool, still stirring or mashing occasionally, and then add the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

  1. Place the filling in the plastic bag and use the rubber band or string to force all the ingredients into one corner of the bag, for easy piping.

 

YIELD: 3 cups (705 g)

 

 

Winter – Butternut Squash and Brown Butter

 

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon (14 g) salted butter

1 cup (140 g) peeled and diced winter squash

Salt and pepper, to taste

6 leaves sage, minced

1 orange, zested

Pinch of nutmeg

½ cup (124 g) mascarpone cheese

1 tablespoon (5 g) grated Parmesan cheese

OTHER STUFF

Ovenproof sauté pan

Food mill or food processor

Large plastic freezer bag or pastry bag

Rubber band or kitchen string

 

HOW TO

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.F (180.C, or gas mark 4).

 

  1. In the sauté pan over medium heat, cook the butter until it is lightly browned and smells like toasted nuts, about 5 minutes. Add the squash to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the sage and roast the mixture in the oven until cooked through, about 20 minutes.

 

  1. Puree the warm squash mixture in a food mill or food processor. Fold in the orange zest (reserving a little to garnish the ravioli), nutmeg, and mascarpone. Allow the filling to cool, stirring occasionally, and add the Parmesan cheese.

 

  1. Place the filling in the plastic bag and use the rubber band or string to force all the ingredients into one corner of the bag, for easy piping.

 

YIELD: 2 cups (470 g)

Noodle Kids recipe book

3 Shape the Ravioli

 

This is the really fun part. Set up a simple assembly line and everyone can make their own ravioli. It’s a quick project without a lot of rules (Don’t throw ravioli at your sister!) and ravioli tastes good in any shape or size.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 recipe precut ravioli dough (see step 1, page 39) or

1 pound (454 g) purchased fresh or frozen pasta sheets

1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water

2 cups (470 g) ravioli filling in a plastic bag for piping

Organic all-purpose flour, as needed

 

OTHER STUFF

A small tray for each ravioli maker

Pastry brush

Fluted pastry wheel or knife

Cookie sheet

A small tray for each ravioli maker

 

HOW TO

  1. Set up an assembly line on your kitchen table and give each ravioli maker a small tray to work on as he or she moves through the stations.

 

Station 1: Precut ravioli dough

Station 2: Egg wash

Station 3: Ravioli filling in a plastic bag for piping

Station 4: Fluted pastry wheel and/or knife

Station 5: Cookie sheet dusted with flour for storage

 

  1. Demonstrate how to make ravioli. First, dust your work tray with a little flour. At station one, put one piece of ravioli dough on the tray. At the second station, brush the edges of the dough lightly with egg wash. At station three, pipe 1 tablespoon (15 g) of filling in the center of the dough. Fold the dough over the filling into a triangle or a rectangular shape and press the edges to seal. At station four, trim the edges of the ravioli with a fluted pastry wheel or knife. At station five, place the finished ravioli on a cookie sheet. You can freeze these for up to 4 months until you are ready to cook.

 

  1. Let everyone help. The great thing about ravioli: It’s okay if they are different shapes and sizes. If you want to make an extra big one by sandwiching the filling between two sheets of dough, that’s delicious. Keep making ravioli until the filling or the dough runs out. (It rarely happens at exactly the same time.)

 

YIELD: 60 to 70 ravioli

 

4 Cook It

 

Time to get your homemade ravioli on the dinner table. Ravioli only take a few minutes to cook. The kids can set the dinner table in the meantime.

 

INGREDIENTS

Homemade ravioli

¼ cup (56 g) salted butter, divided

4 tablespoons (8 g) fresh herbs, divided (choose your favorite: parsley, basil, mint, oregano)

½ cup (50 g) grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Juice from 1 orange (for winter filling only)

2 tablespoons (12 g) toasted bread crumbs

 

OTHER STUFF

Pasta pot with strainer

Small saucepan

Serving plate

 

HOW TO

  1. Fill a large pot with water and season with salt until it tastes like seawater. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer. Cook 5 ravioli at a time, simmering for about 5 minutes.

 

  1. Transfer the 5 ravioli to the saucepan with some pasta water still on the noodles. The small addition of some of the pasta water allows all the sauce ingredients to emulsify together and form a more cohesive sauce. Add 1 tablespoon (14 g) of the butter, 1 teaspoon of the herbs, 1 tablespoon (5 g) of the Parmesan cheese, and the orange juice if using the winter filling. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring gently, until a smooth and creamy sauce forms, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining ravioli.

 

  1. Garnish each dish with ½ tablespoon (3 g) bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon (5 g) of the remaining Parmesan, a sprinkling of herbs, and any additional garnish you might like.

 

YIELD: 4 servings

 

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