99% Food, 1% Skin

My “Skinier” Meat Ravioli

Once upon a time, I brought my Dad somewhere to have dinner, and he chose meat-filled ravioli.

He loved them and remembered them fondly.

In recent years, it seemed difficult to find meat-filled ravioli at restaurants; ravioli seemed to have become the default vegetarian choice: commonly cheese-filled, and other times, mushroom or squash-filled.

With my Dad’s recent visit, I have decided to make sausage-filled ravioli; yet for health reasons, I wanted to make sure he reduced his meat intake: came the idea of filling the ravioli partially with tofu.

I made lasagna normally with tofu anyway to be dairy-free, and to reduce calories and greasiness — figured that ravioli with tofu mixed in would not be far-fetched.

Well, the ravioli turned out creamy and delicious.

Here is what I did:

 

For Pasta Dough — recipe courtesy of William Sonoma’s, makes 1.5 lb. pasta

INGREDIENTS

2 cups semolina flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

3 eggs @ room temperature

3 tbsp. water

 

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredient in a food processor and pulse

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Use spatula to scrap the side of the bowl, and pulse few more times for a few seconds each time until a soft ball is formed

Add more water or flour if the dough is too dry or wet

Remove dough from the food processor and roughly divide into 4 to 6 pieces, flatten each piece with your hand into a rough rectangle

To knead the dough, set the pasta roller at the widest setting, and work with one small dough at a time; dust the surface of the dough and pass it through the roller, fold the resulting piece in half, dust and pass through roller again

Repeat 8 to 10 times, until the dough feels smooth, satiny, drier and turn paler color

Cover both the unused and resulting dough with moist kitchen towel

Let finish dough rest for 1 hour under moist kitchen towel to relax gluten

To roll the dough, decrease the width of the pasta roller by 1 notch, and pass a piece of dough through twice; then decrease the roller by 1 notch again, and pass dough through twice; repeat until hitting the lowest setting on the roller, pass the dough through; continue with other dough pieces

Sprinkle a wooden or plastic board (no tile or laminate) with flour, place the finished pasta on the surface for 10 minutes until they are dry to touch but pliant

Cut rounds with cookie cutter for ravioli (we used a 2.5 inch diameter cutter)

 

For Fillings:

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. ground sausage

1 box soft tofu (about

12 basil leaves, finely chopped

1/4 tsp. salt

 

DIRECTIONS

Mush tofu to small pieces and add salt; let sit for about 10 minutes

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Add sausage and chopped basil leaves and mix well

 

For Making and Cooking Ravioli:

DIRECTIONS

Place dollop of meat/tofu mixture in the center of a pasta round

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Dap the sides of the round with water, and place another piece of round pasta on top; gently press the sides down

Place the finished ravioli on flour-dusted wax paper, cover with kitchen towel and dry for about 30 minutes before cooking

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In a large pot over high heat, bring water to boil

Add 1 tbsp. of salt and cook ravioli in batches until they float on top, then cook 1 minute more

Drain the ravioli before serving with sauce

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Yields about 74 ravioli

 

I made a very simple tomato sauce for the ravioli:

INGREDIENTS

1/2 a large onion, finely chopped

1 big shallot, finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 can of diced tomato

1 stick of cilantro

1/2 inch thick cut of summer sausage (2 inch diameter sausage), diced: optional, just what I have in my fridge!

 

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil in a pot until hot, add summer sausage and fried until brown, remove from pot

Heat oil again until hot in the same pot, then turn down heat to medium and sweat onion, shallot and garlic until soft

Turn heat up to high, add diced tomatoes, cilantro and sausage until boil, remove from heat

Pour mixture in a blender and blend to smooth

Return mixture to pot and continue to cook at medium heat, light simmer for another 15 minutes

ravioli were yummy, but I failed at plating!

ravioli were yummy, but I failed at plating!

Enjoy!

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