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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Budget Friendly Meals- Toasted Ravioli

First, a disclaimer: It is not a fast or easy meal. If you are looking for something quick to whip up for dinner, this is NOT a recipe for you. I set aside a 4 hour block of time to make these, but it was totally worth it.

You will need:

3-3 1/2 cups of flour
5 eggs
1 tsp. salt

16 oz. ricotta cheese
1 1/2 tbsp. oregano
1 egg
1 tsp pepper
a pinch or salt
as much parmesan cheese as you want.
Step 1: Mound the flour and salt up into a volcano shape. Make sure the opening in the middle is plenty wide.
Step 2: Crack the eggs into the middle of the volcano.
Step 3: Whisk the eggs with a fork, slowly incorporating the inside edges of the volcano. Warning: this is extremely messy.
After about 1/2 the flour is incorporated, it will start to form a crumbly flour/ dough mixture. At this point, start kneading it. My dough was still a little flaky, so I added a couple tablespoons of oil and water. Knead for approx. 5 minutes or until dough is slightly elastic. Add more oil/ water or flour as needed.
Step 4: Split the dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Let sit for 30 minutes.
While I was waiting, I mixed together my filling. Just put all the ingredients into a bowl and stir. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Step 5: Roll the dough out into a long skinny strip and roll it through your pasta machine on its widest setting. Repeat this 3 or 4 times.
Then knock the machine down a setting or two and roll the dough through 3 or 4 times again.
Last time, change the setting on the pasta machine to an even thinner setting. I ended up using a 5 for my lowest. Roll the dough through 2 or 3 times.
Step 6: Cut circles out of the dough.
Put them on a floured baking sheet.
Step 7: Spoon about a tablespoon of filling onto each circle and fold it over pressing the edges together.
Step 8: Use a fork to press the edges together and make a pretty design.

Now, you can either be done here and boil them for about 5 minutes to eat or you can fry them up like I did:
Melt a couple tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Dip your ravioli into the butter and then into bread crumbs.
Cook them in oil on low-medium heat.
Serve with marinara sauce.

To make my marinara sauce, I used a regular can of tomato sauce and stir in a little bit of garlic powder, oregano, and parmesan cheese. Heat in the microwave for about a minute.

I only used about half of my ravioli dough and filling and it made about 20 raviolis.

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