Wednesday, April 23, 2014

White Bean and Artichoke Stuffed Ravioli with a Lemon-Wine Sauce

For someone who has a deep and unabiding love for pasta, it's really sort of amazing that I've never tried my hand at making pasta from scratch ... until now, that is.

I approached this particular project with the preparation that one needs to climb Everest. I read books, searched the internet for pasta dough recipes (Spoiler Alert: after all of that researching, I ended up going with the recipe on the back of the Bob's Red Mill Semolina Flour bag. But now that I know that I can actually make ravioli, I will definitely be experimenting!), tried to come up with a tasty filling, and had a little too much fun at a cooking supplies store.

And when I was actually able to produce said raviolis, I celebrated AS THOUGH I had climbed Everest. 
I took this picture for posterity's sake.  This is also about the time I started doing my equivalent of a touchdown dance.
Now, even though I'm being a bit dramatic, don't be intimidated by ravioli-making.  It's not as complicated as I thought it would be--though it will give you a good goin'-back-to-the-good-'ol-days-and-makin'-things-from-scratch boost.  Homesteading, here we come? Er, maybe not.

While I bought a fancy-schmancy ravioli press (I bought it on sale, okay?), you don't need one. A circle-shaped cookie cutter works just fine and will give you slightly bigger raviolis (which means more stuffing in the center!)

For the filling and sauce, I wanted something simple and light so that I could spend my energy concentrating on actual ravioli formation.  The outcome was tasty and very flavorful!

So, without further ado....

White Bean and Artichoke Stuffed Ravioli with a Lemon-Wine Sauce

Pasta Dough (I used the recipe on the bag of Semolina Flour)
1.5 cups of semolina flour
2 eggs
2 tbsp of olive oil
2tbsp of water
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup of drained white beans (I used Great Northern)
4 artichoke hearts (canned)
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp of white wine
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of shredded Fontina cheese (optional: You can also add shredded vegan mozzarella or no cheese at all)

1 tbsp of butter or non-dairy butter spread
1/4 cup of the white beans with the liquid (pureed)
1 tsp of minced garlic
1/4 cup of diced onions
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp of lemon zest
1/2 cup of white wine
1 tsp of minced basil (julienne some basil for garnish!)

First, make the dough by adding all dough ingredients to a mixer with a dough hook (you can also mix by hand).  Knead the dough in the mixer or by hand for 10 minutes.  Yes, 10 minutes!  Almost every recipe I looked at gave 10 minutes as the suggested time-- it needs that time to come together as dough! Once the dough has come together, lightly flour the dough and let it rest while you work on the filling. 

In a food processor, pulse the ingredients (minus the cheese) for the filling (setting aside the 1/4 cup of beans and liquid for the sauce)until the mixture resembles as paste.  Grate the cheese and add it to the mixture.  Taste for seasonings and add as needed.

Flour EVERYTHING-- the work surface, whatever you'll be using to form the raviolis, the rolling pin, the cat--everything.  The dough is fairly sticky! Ensure that you dough is elastic by kneading it once or twice.  Start by cutting the dough in half and begin rolling out the dough until it's about 1/8th of an inch thick.  If you have a ravioli mold you'll be working with, lay the dough onto the mold, lightly pressing into the indented filling spaces (If you have dough that goes past the mold, cut that off and save it to use for more raviolis).  If you are using the cookie-cutter method, start cutting out circles from the dough. Place about 1 tsp of the filling into each of the ravioli molds--be careful not to overfill the raviolis. 

Roll out the other half of the dough until it's 1/8th of an inch thick and lay it over the mold (if you're using the cookie-cutter, you can simply make more raviolis!). Roll the flat sheet of dough over the ravioli form using a rolling pin, until the raviolis are pressed together (if you've made the cookie-cutter raviolis, you'll want to close the raviolis by lightly scoring the edges with a fork).  At this point, you will be very glad that you went on a flouring spree because you'll need to pull the raviolis out of the mold.  Place formed raviolis onto a piece of parchment paper, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil and do a quick touchdown dance. Congratulations!  You made ravioli!

For the sauce: In a food processor, process the reserved beans and liquid until creamy.  Add butter to a skillet on medium heat.  Once the butter is melted, add the garlic and onions and saute until the onions are translucent.  Add the bean cream, wine, lemon juice, and basil and simmer on low heat while you boil the ravioli.

The raviolis are usually cooked when they float to the top of the pot (make sure you test one, in case yours needs to be boiled a little longer)-- about 4 minutes. Add the raviolis and a little bit of the starchy pasta water to the sauce and let the raviolis simmer in the sauce for a couple of minutes. 

Serve warm and garnish with some basil and shredded Fontina cheese!


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