Camilla bought me a pasta machine for Christmas; something I’ve wanted for ages! I knew it would be very difficult to do it alone and not half as fun, so the first thing we did was put a date in the diary to give it a go. We know that the traditional ravioli filling is spinach and ricotta but we wanted to try something different. We chose prosciutto cotto (cooked ham) with ricotta, parsley and plenty of seasoning. As ravioli fillings are usually quite strong in flavour, it’s best to keep the sauce simple – we went for the classic sage and melted butter. You can be as experimental as you like with the fillings, just make sure it’s not too wet so it’s easy to seal the parcels.
Emily and Camilla
1. Shape the flour into a large mound on either a flat, clean surface or in a mixing bowl. Create a well in the top and crack three of the eggs into the well whole. Separate the other two eggs and put the two yolks in, leaving the whites aside (you won’t need these). Add the salt and the oil.
2. Using a wooden spoon, gradually start mixing from the middle of the well, bringing in more and more flour from the sides until the mixture is completely combined. You will need to start using your hands to work the dough, and knead it until the dough is smooth (around 10-15 minutes).
4. Meanwhile, make your filling of choice.
5. Using a sharp knife, cut off around 1/5 of the dough and flatten out so that you can begin to feed it through the pasta machine.
6. Starting on the thickest setting, slowly wind the dough through the machine, adjusting the thickness after each turn. This is where you may need more than one person to feed the dough and turn the handle!
7. Once the sheet is thin enough that you can see your hand through it (probably the thinnest setting on your pasta machine), carefully place onto a floured surface and cut in half. Evenly space out small balls of your filling onto one half.
8. Brush water around the edge of the sheet, and lift the other half over the top and gently lower down. Make sure the filling is tightly enclosed and that there are no air bubbles in between. Push the edges firmly shut.
9. Using a pasta cutter, pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut the parcels into even squares and set aside on greaseproof paper (we only had kitchen towel and found it did stick so would recommend greaseproof paper here).
10. When you have used all the dough, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and cook the ravioli in batches (8-10 at a time so they don’t stick to each other) for 3-4 minutes, or until soft. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a separate pan and add the sage leaves, making sure it doesn’t burn. Serve the ravioli with a small amount of the sauce poured over.
Enjoy in smaller portions as a starter or served with salad as a main, and have fun experimenting with fillings!