Tuesday, August 17
I'm a busy gal this week and knowing so I cooked a little ahead. I made enough for two meals. Brilliant because whilst it takes about an hour to prepare (including sauce) the first time, it's only a few minutes to reheat second time around I like to keep mine in the fridge and eat it a few days later but you can freeze too and defrost/reheat in the microwave.
It's filling too! My hubby didn't even notice it was vegetarian :) I estimate this double serving of pasta - so about 1 kg's worth came to $4.00, Sauce about $2.00 - all together $6.00 - for TWO meals.
Now for the pasta, I broke my rule and used regular flour and egg whites. I usually don't! But I can't remember where I found this now (will be sure to credit it when I do, watch this space!) but it is super easy.
Thing is, you do need a pasta machine/roller. This one is similar to mine and under $50 if you are in the market for one.. You North Americans - cookware.com have one for about USD $26.
4 eggs, plus one extra
3 cups plain
2/3 cups tepid water
1 cup ricotta cheese, well drained
salt and pepper
By hand or with dough hook, start mixing flour in a large bowl. Add eggs one by one until all four are added.Continue to mix whilst gradually adding water until the mixture becomes and pliable yet firm dough.
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Dust your surface and your dough liberally with flour.
With each piece run it through the pasta machine on the loosest fitting.. At first if may be a bit holey. Don't worry, it's just the gluten hasnt meshed.... fold the piece and run it through the machine again until it becomes a flattened piece.
Tighten the fitting by 2 notches or so and run it through the machine again, ensuring you have dusted each side with flour. Continue to pass it through until you get the right thickness - I have 7 notches on mine, I go down to 3 (1 being the tightest).
Layout the pasta, and with a teaspoon place the ricotta mixture in dot formations.
With a pastry brush (or your finger ;) ) Paint around the mounds of ricotta with remaining beaten egg. Place or fold over the pasta so another layer is on top. Pat down to 'glue' the layers together.
Cut with a knife or if you have a ravioli cutter (not essential by any means) cut out your shapes. Set aside on a dusted surface.
In a large pot, fill with water and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and add your ravioli piece by piece - I do mine about 10 pieces at a time. When they float to the top, transfer them to a plate or another pot. When you've boiled all your pasta, you can cool it and package it up and put it in the freezer, or make a sauce for it!
My sauce had:
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
2 x 400g tins diced tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
10 large leaves of fresh or 1/2 tsp dried basil
2 stems fresh or 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 stem fresh or 1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 cup red wine
Basically I drained the water from and did a quick wash of the pot I cooked my past in. Added a little olive oil and fried the onions until they become transparent add garlic and then tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine and herbs. Simmer for about 10 minutes and then add pasta. Simmer for a further 10 minutes and serve!
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