Fresh Herb and Ricotta Ravioli with Red Wine

soloravioli.jpg In recent years, there has been an explosion in the gluten free pasta market. You can get more types of noodles than ever before- be it pagota, Fusilli, or penne- made out of brown rice, quinoa, corn, potato, buckwheat, and more. Tinkyada even makes cute shapes of pasta for kids called “Little Dreams.” But one product that is still not widely available to the gluten free community is the glorious fresh pasta, like ravioli, easily available to the gluten consuming crowd. Oh, I know, I know, extraordinary places like The Gluten Free Trading Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that specialize in gluten free foods may have a few packages of gluten free ravioli in their freezer. Deby’s Cafe and Bakery in Denver, Colorado and Sunny Valley Wheat Free in Maple Valley, Washington may also carry gluten free ravioli- but it’s often prohibitively expensive. I just can’t bring myself to pay $10 or more for a package of pasta I’ll eat in a meal, even if I’m lucky to be in the vicinity of a place like this… and the fillings are often limited. (As a note- the ravioli frozen meal at Sunny Valley was actually competitively priced- and yummy too… so if you happen to be in the area… Get some. Who knew a hotel microwave could do so much?) If I order it online, the cost of shipping frozen foods also makes me think I might as well order a pound of consumable gold shavings- in fact, the gold shavings might be cheaper! So, when I saw Bette Hagman’s Bean Flour pasta recipe in her book, “The Gluten Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy,” I decided to make it my mission to make my own ravioli.

pastaroller.jpg raviolisheetfixings.jpgLet’s just be honest. Making pasta is NOT quick, and NOT easy. I bought a wonderful little pasta machine imported from Italy to Japan which I then brought home with me to America for about $20, and while I love the machine, it has its limitations. There is this certain stage in rolling out pasta when you’re trying to get these lumps of dough to roll through the machine and come out as beautiful golden sheets of pasta and the dough comes out in chunks, looking about as pretty as a wadded up and ripped tissue. Serious teeth grinding is unavoidable. But, several rolls later, when it actually looks like pasta and not a failed science project, it feels like culinary alchemy. Who needs elixirs of immortality when you can make gorgeous, malleable sheets of pasta? (Although if you have that elixir, let me know…) I don’t have those newfangled ravioli cutters, or other fancy devices to make a pretty ravioli. So, my pasta tends to look like what it is- stuffed pasta squares. But the filling can make even my elementary ravioli something exciting- and paired with the right sauce, it can only be called… yummy.

raviolistuffing.jpg uncookedravioli.jpgIn my previous experiments I went with a red tomato sauce over my ravioli, which was good. But, this week I decided that for Spring, I wanted a ravioli that was creamy and seasoned with fresh herbs- in a sauce just as light and creamy as the filling. I decided to go with a creamy, nutty sauce I found in a bargain rack book called “The Complete Guide to making Sauces.” The original recipe called for walnut, but since DH is skeptical at best about that particular ingredient, I used pecans. I also lightened it by using lowfat milk instead of cream. The recipe suggested brushing the cooked ravioli in butter, which added tons of flavor. I tried dribbling the pasta in the sauce and ended up with a saucy pile. It tasted great- but its aesthetic appeal left something to be desired. So, I tried creating a sauce base on the plate, topping it with ravioli and then sprinkling with curls of fresh basil, fresh parmesan, and a little red pepper flakes for visual appeal. Success! We enjoyed our meal with some red wine, and found that 3 or 3 1/2 ravioli per person was just about perfect. DH raved it was “JUST LIKE REAL PASTA,” and gave it a 10/10. (Although it was no southern fried tofu, which is apparently more like an 11/10.) And on my part, despite the serious PAIN it was making it, I remembered why it is that once or twice a year I decide to go all out and make this stuff. Who needs a gluten free gourmet Italian restaurant in your neighborhood when you can make this stuff in your kitchen, exactly to your taste? Not that I’d pass up the chance, but you get the idea. So the next time you feel like creating a labor of love, whether it be for yourself or to share with your GF loved ones, consider putting ravioli on your menu. And don’t forget a nice glass of wine.

Ravioli and Pecan Sauce
Ingredients
Bette Hagman’s Bean Flour Pasta recipe from pg. 262 of GFG Fast & Healthy

1/4 cup butter
fresh grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Filling:
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 lg handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 lg handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
a few sprigs of fresh marjoram, leaves removed and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small egg
salt and fresh ground black pepper

Cream and Pecan Sauce
1 cup shelled pecans
1 garlic clove
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup milk (or cream)

Directions
To make filling, combine all ingredients thoroughly.

To make sauce, process all ingredients, adding up to 1/2 cup warm water to thin. (go light on water) Put mixture in bowl and stir in milk and season

Use a pasta machine or roll by hand long rectangles of dough. (Follow Bette Hagman’s instructions if using her recipe)

Place filling in well spaced spoonfuls along one side of the dough, and fold other side of dough over the spoonfulls, cutting between the filling with a pizza cutter or ravioli cutter, making sure to leave enough dough to seal the ravioli on both sides. lightly brush water around the open sides of each individual ravioli and press to seal the ravioli.

Set aside and finish making ravioli.

Melt butter in small saucepan. Boil ravioli in boiling salted water for 5 minutes and drain. Pour pecan sauce on serving plate, dip or brush ravioli in the melted butter, place on top of creamy sauce on plate, and sprinkle Parmesan on top to serve.

Notes
SUPER yummy. Unfortunately also SUPER time consuming. But, worth it, at least for special occasions.

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14 Responses to “Fresh Herb and Ricotta Ravioli with Red Wine”

  1. I am so very impressed! Yum.

  2. Wow! I bought a pasta machine a few months ago. It was just before I decided to committ myself to being gluten free. I’ve wondered whether or not I could really make decent pasta. Pre-gluten free, I made ravioli and it was yummy. Now you’ve motivated me to do it! As Nike says, JUST DO IT! I don’t have the cookbook you mention but will do some research. Thanks for experimenting for all of us. Time consuming but worth it!!

  3. Recipe for preparing Chutney powder

    200gm of Urad dal
    100gm of Channa dal
    50gm of red chilli(dried)

    Fry urad dal without oil in pan till it becomes red(turning to red)
    fry channa dal without oil in pan till it becomes red(turning to red)and red chilli(dried) and fry. Allow it to cool and mix everything and grind it coarsely(Dry Grinding). You can eat it with rice ,dosa,idlli.

    –Pushpa.N.Acharya

    add little oil to it when you are having with dosa /idlli or rice add sesame oil. It can be used as substitue for chutney.

    Let me know how it taste :)

  4. Oh my! I am so impressed. I was just telling a friend the other day that the only pasta I couldn’t find and really missed was ravioli!

  5. How exciting!! It looks really fabulous, and after considering gifting my pasta machine to a nonceliac friend, perhaps now i have a reason to keep it. I wonder if these pasta sheets would freeze well? Thanks for doing all that work and sharing it with us!

  6. Catherine and Gaile- Thank you for the compliments.

    Gaile- the only thing I would worry about would be if it is possible to get all of the gluten flour etc. out of the pasta machine… They are a bit tricky to clean, and it would be no fun to go to all the trouble of making pasta only to have it be glutened by crumbs lurking in the machine.

    These pasta sheets freeze very well, or can alternatively be kept in the refrigerator for a bit.

    You’re very welcome, and thank you for commenting! It’s always nice to know who is visiting. :)

    Pushpa- thank you for the recipe. I will definitely try it and let you know how it turns out!

    Best,
    Sea

  7. Sea-
    These look wonderful. I don’t have a pasta maker.. do you think pressing soft, GF, lasagna noodle edges together would work? If you say ‘yes’, I might have to find a lactose-free version of ricotta cheese!
    Thanks,
    Ashley

  8. Hi Ashley,
    Thank you for the compliment! You don’t really need a pasta maker- the recipe can be easily rolled out by hand and might even be less time consuming done that way. You do need raw pasta dough though- pre-cooked or dry pasta won’t seal together like raw pasta does. :)
    I don’t know about lactose free ricotta cheese made from milk, but there are a lot of vegan recipes for “ricotta” using tofu. If you would like, I can try experimenting in the future and see if I can’t come up with something tasty. (barring soy allergy). There may be commercially available products as well- I just don’t remember seeing them.

    Best wishes and happy pasta making,
    Sea

  9. Sea-
    Darn. “You do need raw pasta dough”.. I was hoping to save some time. :D These will have to wait until May.

    Meanwhile, I WAS thinking about attempting lactose-free ricotta from soy products. You seem very knowledgeable with tofu (I’m not). If you come up with a substitution, I would love to hear it so I could enjoy a few Italian foods again!
    -Ashley

  10. As a substitute, you might try buying some gluten free cannelloni noodles. I think Ener-g foods and possibly Tinkyada has some… Anyway, you can stuff them just as you would ravioli- and then you would just have to boil the pasta. Or, you could make lasagna with a creamy tofu filling- might satisfy the craving. I really recommend getting some good vegan cookbooks- they have great substitutions for dairy using tofu or nuts. Nuts can be made into some VERY delicious creamy sauces- I made some “whipped cream” type stuff out of cashews and vanilla that was really surprisingly good. I will think about it and post as soon as I come up with something. :)
    -Sea

  11. Ashley- see my latest post with a ricotta “cheese” recipe. :) This is one of the fastest dairy substitutes out there- but some of the more time intensive recipes yield even yummier results. I’m still thinking about it, but this may hold you over for now. :)

    Best,
    Sea

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