|CLASSIC pasta||ravioli -- how to make|
Here is how to make the squares of stuffed pasta, pasta ripiene, most frequently called ravioli. They are generally referred to as tortelli, the overall classification. They are also called agnolotti, mezzaluna (half-moons), pansoti (generally triangles), and cansonei. Whatever the name, with a wonderful, and generally simple, filling, and the right sauce, they are true delights.
To make ravioli requires just a little simple engineering. Take a flat sheet of pasta that you have made (or purchased). The pasta should be as thin as possible, probably using the lowest setting on the pasta machine. It should also be as moist as possible. Sketch out in your mind the size of the ravioli you are going to make, say inch and a half or two-inch squares.
Put some of the stuffing in the center of your imagined squares on the pasta sheet -- about 1/2 tablespoon or maybe up to one teaspoon of stuffing in each spot. (see #1 below). If you are working with your own hand-made sheets of pasta you probably will only get three or even two squares in the width available.
After you have put the filling in the squares, moisten the area between the fillings (#2) with a touch of warm water (or egg white if you want to be very fancy). This moistening will facilitate the binding of the top sheet of pasta when you apply that to the bottom sheet
And now is the time to apply a top sheet of pasta (#3). Some start by taking a very long sheet of pasta, apply filling to only half the length, and then fold over the section without filling on top of the bottom section. Others of us cut out roughly two sheets of pasta, of generally similar length and width, and then apply the one sheet on top of the other.
Press down with your fingers between the filled areas (#4) to help bind the top and bottom sheets.
With a fluted pastry cutting rotating wheel (#5), cut the squares to complete the process. If the dough is still moist, which it should be, carefully place the completed squares (not touching!) on a cloth and let dry, perhaps turning them over gently once to aid the drying.
options: for mezzaluna (half-moon) or full circle shapes, we generally cut out the circles first, with a cookie-type cutter; put the stuffing in the middle for the circle or the middle of a half-shape for mezzaluna; moisten the edges; put the other-cut-out shape on top for a circle, or fold over the half circle for the mezzaluna.