January 8, 2013

Homemade Swiss Chard Ravioli

Periodically, I get the urge to try something new and find any excuse to invite my friends and family over for dinner. I love the idea of experimenting with food and a Sunday afternoon is the perfect time to explore new dishes. 

The only reason why this dish was such a large endeavor was because it was the first time I had ever attempted to make ravioli. And....I also started the day off with a few glasses of wine at brunch, so that may have made this project feel a bit more grandiose than it really was. 

With loads of organic swiss chard in my mother's garden, I was on a mission to make a vegetarian-friendly pasta dish. 

For the pasta dough - 


3 large eggs
6 egg yolks
3 cups flour
A pinch of salt

  1. Using a food processor or mixer, combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Remove dough and knead by hand for a few minutes until smooth. If the dough is too dry, add a few drops of water.
  3. Divide dough into 4 equal parts and shape them into balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour.
For the filling - 


1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, stems and ribs discarded and leaves washed and drained
½ yellow onion
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons golden raisins

  1. Finely chop Swiss chard. You can use the pulse setting of a food processor (You will need about 6 packed cups).
  2. Using a food processor, chop the pine nuts, garlic, and onion. Remove and set aside.
  3. Using the food processor again, finely chop the raisins. 
  4. In a large skillet, sauté onions, garlic, and pine nuts in olive oil over high heat until onion is soft and pine nuts are a few shades darker. 
  5. Stir in, raisins, and half of Swiss chard and cook, stirring, until chard is slightly wilted (1-2 minutes). 
  6. Add the remaining chard and season with salt and pepper. Cook the filling, covered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, about 5 minutes.
  7. Chill filling, uncovered, at least 1 hour or, covered, up to 1 day.

Making the Ravioli - 
  1. Lightly dust your work surface with flour.
  2. Set the smooth rollers of pasta machine on the widest setting. Unwrap one ball of dough and separate into 2-3 parts. Roll flat onto your work surface using a rolling pin. 
  3. Then, feed the dough through the rollers 8 times, folding in half each time and dusting with flour as necessary to prevent sticking.
  4. Turn the dial down to next (smaller) setting and feed the dough through the rollers without folding. Continue to feed the dough through, without folding, making space between rollers narrower each time, until narrowest setting is reached.
To make the ravioli, there are two methods. You can use a fluted pastry wheel to trim the edges of the raviolis or use a ravioli mold.

Fluted Pastry Cutter

Ravioli Molds

Some plump raviolis if you ask me! 

If you are using a fluted pastry wheel, follow these steps:
  1. Put the pasta sheets on the floured work surface (parchment paper is also nice to work on.)
  2. Place packed teaspoons of chard filling 2 inches apart along half of the pasta sheet Around each mound of filling brush dough very lightly with water.
  3. Fold dough in half, over mounds of filling and gently press around mounds to force out any air, and seal the edges. 
  4. With a fluted pastry wheel trim edges and cut between mounds of filling to separate ravioli.
If you are using a ravioli mold, follow these steps:
  1. Place a sheet of the dough over the floured mold and gently press into the mold to create small cups for the filling.
  2. Add a packed teaspoon of chard filling to each ravioli cup.
  3. Place another sheet of dough over the mounds and press gently on the edges. Using a rolling pin, carefully roll the sheets of dough together, sealing the edges. You may need to press firmly around each mound to ensure that the raviolis are sealed and ready.
  4. Slowly remove the raviolis from the mold and set aside.

When ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a roaring boil. Cook the pasta for 3 minutes. Drain pasta and divide raviolis equally among the dinner plates. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese.

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