Sunday, January 19, 2014

Shrimp Ravioli

Add any sauce you like, this is a homemade tomato sauce with basil, garlic, onion,  and a little cream
This will be one of those dishes that seems like it is endlessly complicated, but in fact is very simple and worth the extra steps. My sisters make glorious ravioli all the time, and while I have made home made pasta in years past, I knew I will will need some practice to get back into it. My first nudge was getting a hand cranked pasta machine for my birthday. I decided to try my hand at Shrimp Ravioli. I have never used them for ravioli, but it seemed like a fun place to start. (I know you can use won ton wrappers for the pasta instead of making the pasta from scratch.) The first thing I did was make the filling so it had time to chill in the fridge for at least an hour before filling the pasta.

Shrimp Filling
1 lb of raw, shelled shrimp
1 oz. butter
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbl. olive oil
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 c. orange muskat vinegar
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Saute the shrimp in the butter until just cooked through, set aside.
Add the garlic and olive oil to the pan and saute a bit, and then add the chicken stock and vinegar, and let reduce by about half.
 
Pour in the heavy cream and simmer until reduced further, again, by about 50%.
 While cream is reducing, put shrimp into food processor and process until shrimp is in small, consistent bits, but not pureed.
Put shrimp back in the mixing bowl, and pour reduced cream into the shrimp with 1/2 c of grated parmesan cheese. Stir well, and chill for at least an hour.

The pasta is fairly simple, and you can find a lot of ways to make it, this is mixed by hand, and rolled in a hand cranked machine:

Pasta
2 cups flour
3 eggs

1 beaten egg for wash between layers

On a counter or tabletop, make a mound with the flour, creating a well in the center, deep enough to crack three eggs into. 
Stir the eggs from the middle, using a fork, easing in a little flour as you go, until it starts to hold together in a dough.
When the dough starts to form, knead in as much flour as you can until you get a soft dough that is not too moist. Knead for about 5 minutes by hand, if it seems sticky you can add a little more flour, if its too stiff, add a small amount of water as needed.
Wrap the dough ball in plastic and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Resting is critical, as the dough will relax enough to roll out easily.
Follow the directions for your pasta machine, running it through several times, making it a thinner setting each time. Once you have a very thin strip of dough, place on lightly floured surface. Place about 1 to 2 large teaspoons of filling on the dough along one side, spacing out every two inches. Brush areas around the filling with beaten egg wash and fold over the dough. 
Press the dough down around the filling, and cut into squares or circles. 
These were not the most efficient use of dough, so I switched to square ones.

You can freeze on a flat tray and bag, and cook from the frozen state, or cook immediately in boiling salted water for about 3 minutes. Add your favorite sauce.

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