Ravioli (rah-veh-ohlay) are small squares or rounds of thin Italian pasta filled with a variety of savoury mixtures (or, occasionally, sweet fillings) and poached in boiling water. Ravioli are usually served with either a sauce or butter and grated cheese. They may be eaten as a first course to a meal, as a complete meal or used as a garnish for soups. In Italy, ravioli are also known as tortellini, anolini, tortelli, cap-pelletti, malfatti and agnolotti. Ravioli can also be bought ready made from some delicatessen stores.

Ravioli dough must be used the same day that it is made and, even if it is only set aside for a few hours, it should be covered with a damp cloth. If durum flour is not obtainable plain flour may be substituted.

8 oz. durum flour

½ teaspoon salt

3 eggs

To make Ravioli, divide the ravioli dough in half. Roll out each half into a thin sheet which should be oblong in shape.

Set one piece of the dough aside. On the other piece of dough, drop teaspoons of the filling at 2-inch intervals.

When all the filling has been used, dip a pastry brush in cold Lift the reserved piece of dough on your rolling pin and water and draw lines of the water between the filling.lay it carefully over the filling to cover it completely.

Using your fingertips, gently press down on the pasta sheets between the filling to seal the pasta.

Using a pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut the pasta between the filling into neat squares.

Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the eggs. Using your hands, mix and knead the flour and eggs together until the mixture comes away from the sides of the bowl. Form the dough into a ball.

Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured board or marble slab and knead it for 10 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Cover with a damp cloth and set the dough aside for 30 minutes.

Remove the cloth and roll out the dough into 2 thin sheets. Fill the pasta in either of the following ways: METHOD

Place 1 sheet of dough on a flat surface and place a teaspoon of the filling mixture to be used, every 2-inches across and down the sheet of pasta.

Using a pastry brush, draw horizontal and vertical lines between the rows of filling with a liberal quantity of water.

Carefully lift the second sheet of dough and place it exactly over the first sheet of dough. Press the dough firmly around the filling and along the wetted lines to seal it and enclose the filling. Using a pastry wheel, or a sharp knife, cut the pasta dough into separate squares along the wetted lines.

Cut the 2 sheets of dough into circles with a 2-inch round, fluted pastry cutter. Using a teaspoon, place a portion of the filling mixture to be used in the centre of half of the dough circles. Using a pastry brush, draw a circle around the edge of each dough circle with a liberal quantity of water. Place the remaining dough circles on top of the filled dough circles and press firmly around the edges to seal.

To cook the ravioli, in a large saucepan, bring 3 to 4 pints of water to the boil over high heat. Drop the ravioli into the boiling water and cook them, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the pasta is ‘al dente’. With a slotted spoon, remove the ravioli from the pan and place them on a dampened cloth to drain. Serve at once.

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