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A Little Taste of Italy

January 23, 2011

Homemade Ravioli with Spaghetti sauce from Scratch

Homemade Ravioli with Spaghetti sauce from Scratch

From as far back as I can remember, my mom always made her very own spaghetti sauce.  The sauce would sit all day in a pot on the stove and simmer the smell in the house was amazing especially after playing outside all day.  I remember sneaking spoonfuls from the pot almost every time my mom left the room.  There were occasions where my mom would add meatballs to the sauce and by the time she went to sever the sauce almost all the meatballs were gone because my brother and I would sneak them when she left the room 🙂  you really could not help it out the smell just made you salivate and the only way to stop the salivation was to eat!   This sauce is a basic spaghetti sauce that you can prepare and either freeze or you could can it in mason jars.  My mom would buy the tomatoes from the farmers in the fall and do it entirely from scratch and then can the sauce for use for the entire year, it was a lot of work but also a lot of fun.

I do not have a lot of experience making pasta from scratch but I will tell you that I love doing it.  The first time I made homemade pasta was this past summer at my mother in-law’s house.  At first it was a little fiddly but once you get the hang of it it is smooth sailing.  We used a different pasta maker at her house, it was one that attaches to the side of your counter and you feed the dough through and you turn the crank with the other hand.  It is a great piece of machinery.  I have the pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid, if you do not have this attachment, I would highly recommend it.  It makes this process so much easier.  Making homemade pasta is a time consuming event.  If you are able to set aside a day for doing it you may want to recruit a couple of friends to help as it will make the time go by faster and you will accomplish more.  You could treat it as a quilting bee of sorts 🙂  When I make the ravioli I can picture little Italian ladies back in the older days sitting around in a kitchen sealing the dough or cutting the pasta for spaghetti by hand and in that respect I am very grateful for my kitchen aid 🙂  This is a very basic dough for pasta.  I only use all purpose flour, you could use “00” (double O flour) or you could use whole wheat or durum semolina is what is recommended but hard to find.  I really like the result that the all purpose achieves for me and it is easy to work with and most accessible for everyone.  It takes a few attempts at making the dough to really know how it should feel but the dough should bounce back when gently pressed and not sticky at all, it should have a smooth but slightly firm consistency.  If you do not use all of the dough you may cover it tightly and store it in the fridge.  Make sure that you take the dough out well in advance to soften it slightly before using as it will be tough but not unmanageable.

Handmade Ravioli

Handmade Ravioli

Making Homemade Pasta

How to make the pasta dough from scratch

How to make the pasta dough from scratch

For the homemade pasta:

2 cups of flour

4 eggs

1 tablespoon of water (or more)

To prepare:

1. In a medium to large mixing bowl add the flour and whisk or sift the flour.  Make a well in the center of the flour large enough to hold the four eggs.  Crack the eggs into the well and add the tablespoon of water.

2. Using a fork, gently whisk the eggs to combine, then gradually bring in a little flour at a time to make a smooth paste.  Continue to whisk the flour into the egg until all of the flour is incorporated and you are able to for a soft dough.  You may have to add more water or more flour.

3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough until smooth and elastic but not sticky or tacky as you knead the dough add a little flour at a time to prevent sticking to the counter.

4. You will know you have reached the desired consistency when the dough springs back when lightly pressed.  Cover the dough and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes.

5. After the dough has rested cut it into 6 equal pieces.  If the dough is at all sticky add a little flour to your hands to work with it.  The more flour you use the easier the entire process will be.  After cutting the dough shape the 6 pieces into balls, lightly flour and then cover.  Working with one piece at a time pat the dough ball out so that it is about 1/2-1/4 inch thick.

6. Using a pasta roller attachment for your kitchen aid run the dough through the roller that is set to “1” run the dough through on the first setting about 5-6 times folding the dough in half after about the third time.  Then turn the dial to “2” and run the dough through again 5-6 times.  You may need to sprinkle flour on the dough if you feel it getting at all sticky.  Continue running the dough through the pasta attachment changing the number setting after about 5-6 times of running the dough through on that setting until you reach your desired thickness for your dough. For ravioli dough it should be paper thin where you are able to see your hand through the dough about 1/8 inch thick.  You can make all sorts of noodles with this recipe and the pasta attachment.  You don’t have to feel left out if you don’t have the attachment though, you simply just have to work a little harder.  You have to use a rolling pin and roll the dough out in the same manner turning the dough on the counter to roll it out to 1/8 inch thick.  Once the dough has been rolled out you may fold it in half and then in half again and cut the noodles by hand.  This recipe makes 40 ~ 1 1/2 inch ~ ravioli and there is left over dough.

Making the Ravioli Filling

For the Ravioli Filling

For the Ravioli Filling

1.  Ingredients For the Ravioli Filling:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 lb ground chicken

1/2 a small onion, finely chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup broccoli, finely chopped

1/4 cup green and red peppers, finely chopped

1/4 cup frozen spinach, thawed, drained and chopped

1/4 cup mushrooms, finely chopped

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 egg

To Prepare:

2. In a medium fry pan over medium-high heat add the olive oil.  When the oil is hot add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes.

3. Add the ground chicken

4. Cook until no longer pink.

5. Add the broccoli, peppers, spinach and mushrooms and cook until the vegetables are tender and soft.

6. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Filling the Ravioli

Finishing and filling the ravioli

Finishing and filling the ravioli

1. Once cooled add the bread crumbs, ricotta cheese and egg; stir to combine.  The filling should be sticky but not runny it should hold its shape if you make a ball with it.

2. On a lightly floured surface cut your rolled out pasta dough into 3 x 6 inch rectangles and place a ball of the chicken filling about 1 inch from the bottom edge.

3. Fold the top portion of the dough down over the ball of chicken filling

4. Either on the floured surface or in the palm of your hand seal the edges of the ravioli.  You want to get as close to the ball of filling as possible without getting any of the filling in between the pasta.  Firmly squeeze the edges to seal.  The reason you want to  get as close to the filling as possible is because you do not want air pockets within the ravioli.

5. Place the sealed ravioli onto a cutting board and trim off the excess edges.

6. Pick the trimmed ravioli up and in the palm of your hand continue to press the edges together to ensure it is sealed completely and to give it the edges you find appealing.  You could also use a fancy cutter that is similar to a pizza cutter with a zig zag edge, I do not have one and I prefer to use my hands for the sealing as it allows me to feel that it is sealed well.

Handmade Ravioli

Handmade Ravioli

Handmade Ravioli

Handmade Ravioli

How to make homemade Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch

How to make Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch

How to make Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch

1.  Ingredients For the Sauce:

1 (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes

1 (28 oz) can of stewed tomatoes

4 tablespoons of tomato paste

1-2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 medium onion,  chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 ribs of celery, chopped

1 cup of mushrooms, sliced

1/2 of a green and red pepper, diced

1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme

salt and pepper to taste

To Prepare:

2. In a large pot over medium-high heat add the olive oil.  When the oil is hot add the onion and cook for a few minutes then add the garlic and saute a few minutes longer.

3. Add the celery to the onion and garlic and saute until tender.

4. Add the remaining prepared vegetables to the onion, garlic and celery, cook until slightly tender.

5. Add the tomatoes, paste and dried herbs.

6. Stir and bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 6 to 8 hours.  The longer you simmer the sauce the better the sauce will taste.  This makes a very large amount and it may either be frozen or you could put it in mason jars and seal.

7. To make this a pizza sauce simply add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar for every one cup of sauce.  Using a hand blender or food processor, puree the mixture until you have your desired consistency.  Pizza sauce is generally smoother and sweeter than spaghetti sauce.

Handmade Ravioli with Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch

Handmade Ravioli with Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch

These recipes are simple and so very tasty!  You could use the spaghetti sauce for many if not all pasta dishes.  You could easily freeze the ravioli for another night as well.  The filling for the ravioli can be adjusted too, you could use ground beef or pork or both.  You could leave the meat out as well if you are vegetarian.  If you do not like to make ravioli then you could simply make spaghetti noodles or fettuccine noodles, you could make lasagna noodles, cannelloni the possibilities are endless and you have it all here on this one page 🙂

From our kitchen to yours,
Sydney Jones

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2011 5:01 pm

    Great post. I love the images with steps. Keep up the good work.

  2. January 23, 2011 11:37 pm

    Your ravioli and sauce looks delicious! Your dough looks flawless with a perfect texture !
    Using the pasta attachment to the Kitchen Aid Mixer must be a real time saver.

    • January 24, 2011 5:27 am

      The sauce is delicious and very simple to make! It is a great sauce to make and keep on hand for all your basic pasta dishes!

  3. January 24, 2011 3:19 am

    Being from southern Indiana, I joined the service and was stationed in Earl New Jersey. I met a friennd with the same duty station as i he was from Bloomfield, New Jersey true Italian. His father Jim Bucci and his Mother Maryann Bucci took me into their home and made me part of their family. Iam forever grateful and indebted to them for their love and kindness they shown me. We would get togeather and enjoy the fine dinning of homemade Italian cooking. I am grateful to know that this website exist so i can keep the tradition and learn to cook and pass on to others this delicious foods to others

    • January 24, 2011 5:32 am

      Thank you! Italian food is very traditional and all about the family contributing to the cooking process, I am glad you enjoyed this and I hope that you try the pasta making from scratch. There is nothing like handmade pasta, it is so different from store bought!

  4. January 24, 2011 3:31 am

    being in the service i was stationed in Earl New Jersey where i met a friend From Bloomfield New Jersey, He was from a true Italian family His father Jim Bucci and his mother Maryann Bucci took me in and made me a part of their family. I am forever grateful and indebeted to them for the love and kindness they shown me. Being from southeren Indiana family is very important in life. We would sit down and have homemade Italian meals and i am grateful to have this website to learn how to cook and enjoy these fine meals again. Thank you so much for this.

  5. January 24, 2011 3:34 am

    Love Italian foods

  6. January 24, 2011 3:19 pm

    Love your blog and all the work you put into each post with the steps and photographs. This looks SO good!

    • January 27, 2011 8:20 pm

      Thank you Alicia! This is a great meal, well worth the work you should give it a try, you have a little one that looks about the right age to start pressing the dough 🙂 would make a great family day!

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