Times have changed and Food TV has offered all the chance to cook well...or at the very least, try. My family and I are hooked on the Cooking Channel's show, Extra Virgin. The always-charming couple, Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcus, have proven to me I can cook like a true Italian...just like my noni ! Unlike the antiseptic Italian cooking of Giada de Laurentiis, Gabriele Corcus holds no claims to "Chefdom," but instead is an Italian who loves to share his passion for Italian food with his family and friends using the purest and most basic of ingredients. I get this.
I have one of those monstrous Kitchen Aid stand mixers that could double as an aircraft engine if need be! But the pasta attachment is ghastly expensive - upwards of $150 or more. Spending $150 to make spaghetti is just ridiculous. So I ventured off to Bed & Bath with coupons in hand and bought a hand-crank, counter-top pasta-maker for $27.00.
I brought the shiny little contraption home, sat it on the counter, and we all stood around and stared at it for a moment. David broke the silence, "That makes pasta?"
I took a deep breath, "That's what it says."
Impatient with our contemplation, Katie jumped in with an enthusiastic, "Let's do it!"
And boy, did we!
As with bread making, I don't bother myself with measuring these days - flour, yeast, salt, water, olive oil, and whatever else I am in the mood to add - and mix and knead until it feels like it should. I assumed pasta would be the same - flour, eggs, salt, olive oil.
3 to 4 cups flour
3 to 4 eggs with possibly adding one extra yolk
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Scoop flour on to work surface and open up an approximate eight inch diameter well in the center.
Add eggs, olive oil and salt to the well.
With a fork, mix eggs, olive oil and salt together and then slowly incorporate the sides of the flour into the liquid until all is incorporated enough to begin forming dough and working it with your hands.
Knead until you have a nice smooth ball of dough - five minutes or so. It is not as light as bread dough. So be prepared to work your arms.
Throughout the mixing and kneading process add water by the tablespoon until the dough feels moist but not overly sticky. If you add too much water, just add more flour.
When your dough is a smooth ball, wrap in saran wrap and let rest for 45 minutes before use. If you are not using it that day, store in the refrigerator. Pull the dough out of the refrigerator at least an hour before you will work with it.
Carrot Ravioli filled with Grilled Eggplant, Gruyere and Goat Milk Ricotta
1 Cup Goat Milk Ricotta Cheese (You can substitute with any store bought ricotta)
1 Cup Grilled Eggplant, diced
1/4 Cup Gruyere Cheese, grated
Salt and Pepper to taste
I'm guessing on these measurements, so use your best judgment to find the consistency you prefer.
Cut rolled pasta dough into 3 inch widths. Add little spoonful of filling. Wet half the edges of the dough with fingertip. Fold and press edges together to be sure there are no leaks.
These measurements are "approximate" but your sauce will be best when you taste as you go.
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup White Wine
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Shallot, thinly sliced
3 - 4 Cloves Garlic, chopped
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
On medium heat, warm butter and olive oil. Add shallot and lemon juice, salt, pepper and red pepper. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add white wine and cook until alcohol has disappeared. Add garlic. Stir for a minute or so and taste. Adjust accordingly.
Place ravioli on serving dish. Garnish with Gruyere or Parmesan cheese and fresh, roughly chopped Italian Parsley.
Salt dish to taste - I find that grinding Himalayan Salt over the top gives the ravioli an excellent crunch!