These semolina-flour ravioli are bursting with a delicate mushroom and lemon flavour, and the good news is you don’t need a pasta machine to make them. You DO need a bit of arm strength and patience though if you are to get silky pasta, but it’s worth the effort. Put on some music while you’re kneading and rolling and think of it as therapy!
Ingredients (Serves 4)
For the mushroom filling:
500g chestnut mushrooms, halved
2 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps sherry
3 cloves garlic
1 onion, finely chopped
50g freshly grated breadcrumbs
50g hard cheese, e.g. pecorino, parmesan
Handful fresh thyme
Handful fresh parsley
1 tsp concentrated lemon juice, or 2 tsps fresh
1/2 tsp salt and plenty of pepper
For the pasta:
500g semolina flour + extra (or plain flour) for rolling out
5 fresh, free range eggs
1 tsp salt
50 ml water
For the sauce (optional)
100ml single cream
10 sundried tomatoes
2 tbsp parmesan
Knob of butter
Step 1 – Make the pasta dough
Put your semolina flour in a food processor with the dough hook, and then slowly add the water and the eggs. when it forms a dough, tip onto a floured surface.
If you are not using a food processor, combine the ingredients in a large bowl.
If your dough looks to sloppy, add some more flour until it can be kneaded without sticking to your hands. If it won’t combine, add more water a very small amount at a time.
Now you need to knead, knead, knead! The italian flour packet said for 20 mins but I think you can get away with 10 – 15 minutes if you give it some welly. You can tell when it is ready because it starts to look much smoother and you can pull away bits of dough without them breaking off.
Put the dough in clingfilm or in a bag and leave in the fridge for 40 mins or so (up to 2 hours).
Step 2 – Roll out your dough
Cut your dough into 4 (keep the pieces you aren’t working on in the plastiC). Make a ball with the first piece, then use a rolling pin on a floured surface to flatten the dough. Keep rotating the dough 90 degrees as you work, and flipping the dough so that you roll both sides to get an even surface. Keep going until you have a rectangle about the size of a baking tray.
If you have a pasta machine, run it through until you get the third thinnest setting. You don’t want the pasta to be see-through or you will risk losing your filling when cooking!
Step 3 – Make the filling
Fry your onion and garlic in the olive oil for a minute, then add the mushrooms and thyme. When they are nearly cooked and any liquid has evaporated, add the sherry and cook for a minute or more until that too has evaporated. Remove the thyme if on stems.
Season and transfer to the food processor (with a normal blade) with the parsley and a pulse a couple of times to chop the mushrooms finely. Tip into a bowl and combine with the cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
Step 4 – Make the ravioli
Slice the pasta into two rectangles, then put teaspoons of filling a good distance apart on the right hand side of the pasta sheet. Leave enough space to be able to close the ravioli.
Cut horizontally, then flip over the left hand side so that you form your ravioli square. Using a pastry brush, put a little water around the edges of the pasta so they seal. Press together with yoru fingers then crimp with a fork.
Repeat until all your ravioli are made up.
Step 5 – Boil the pasta
Bring a very large pan of salted water to the boil. Lower in your ravioli one by one – don’t overcrowd the pan so you may need to do several batches.
Cook for about 5 – 6 minutes until the pasta is al dente. Drain, and serve on hot plates immediately with your sauce spooned over (for this recipe I just heated up the cream with the sundried tomatoes and buter, then served with parmesan on top).