You can’t have Spaghetti Western Week without a ravioli recipe. So, what kind of ravioli do you make in the Southwest? A Big Ol’ Ravioli stuffed with green chiles and lot’s of melt-y cheese. This ravioli is as big as the wild west and covers the entire plate. Now say that again with a Southwest accent… in-TIE-errrr plate (just think Disney’s Thunder Mountain Railroad voice over and you’ll nail it). I’ve stuffed this ravioli with roasted green chiles, ricotta and Monterey Jack cheese then put it on a plateful of “kicked-up” marinara sauce. Now wait just a minute, partner (to much? should I drop the accent?), before you think green chiles and marinara are an awful combination, remember that marinara sauce is really just tomatoes and onion cooked up in a pan with a little garlic and oregano. That sounds pretty Mexican to me. I crumpled up a chile de arbol or two into the sauce just to add a Southwest heat.
Cook’s Tips for Cooking a Giant Ravioli:
- The tricky part of this Big Ol’ Ravioli is the cooking part. I thought it was best to cook the ravioli in a skillet with about 3 inches of water instead of letting it float around in a giant pot. It was easier to remove from the water and the shallow pan didn’t let the ravioli roll around and come unsealed. Just be sure you have a very large slotted spatula or large sized, flat strainer with a handle to “fish” it out with. I used a slotted pancake flipper that was almost as large as the ravioli.
- If you are making dinner for several people, use a tip I learned in culinary school. Instead of getting one large pot and throwing all of them in at ounce, use several skillets and cook them one at a time. They are much easier to manage, they won’t stick together or come undone as easily around the edges and let the filling leak out.
- Another culinary school trick, sauce the plate not the ravioli. Spoon the hot marinara sauce onto the plates and have them waiting for the giant ravioli. You can even keep the sauced plates in a low oven to keep them warm. Then, as the ravioli are finished cooking, lift them out and onto the hot marinara sauce and garnish as desired—grated parmesan cheese, sprigs of cilantro or even baby spinach tossed in a very light olive oil vinaigrette.
- Remember that the ravioli will be piping hot so, if you put them directly onto warm sauce, they will stay warm while the others cook.
- For pasta:
- 4 cups all purpose flour, divided
- 3 large eggs
- 1tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- For filling:
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 cups fresh ricotta, drained
- ½ cup fresh grated cotija cheese or parmesan
- ½ cup finely grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 roasted green chiles, seeded, peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- For sauce:
- 1 to 2 tablespoon olive oil (if using chiles or pepper flakes)
- 1 to 2 chile de arbol or 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 16 ounce jar of your favorite marinara sauce
- Fresh, chopped cilantro or parsley or
- baby spinach leaves tossed in a light olive oil vinaigrette
- Measure 3 cups of floor onto the countertop. Make an indentation or "well" in the center of the mound of flour. Lightly beat the eggs, olive oil and salt together and pour into the "well" in the center of the flour. With a fork, begin stirring the eggs in progressively larger circles so that the flour is mixed into the egg mixture a little at a time and no lumps are formed.
- When the flour comes together in a ball, sprinkle some of the reserved flour over the counter and lightly knead until the dough is soft and not sticky. Add additional flour only until the dough is no longer sticky. Too much flour will give you a tuff dough. Pat the dough into a dish and wrap with plastic wrap. Set aside to rest for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Cut the dough in half and roll out as thinly as possible. Cut into 6 inch diameter circles. Knead the scraps of dough together and let rest again, if necessary, to reach 8 circles.
- While the dough is resting, combine the eggs, ricotta, cotija or parmesan cheese, Monterey jack cheese and salt. Stir well.
- Spoon about one quarter of the filling into the center of four of the pasta circles. Wet the edges of the pasta with water. Top each ravioli with the remaining 4 circles. Start at the center of the ravioli and work out as many air bubbles as possible. Tightly seal all of the edges by pressing the edges between your finger and thumb or pressing the edge with the tines of a fork.
- Cover ravioli with plastic wrap until ready to cook.
- Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of oiive oil in a pan. Crush the chile de arbol or red pepper flakes into the hot oil. Immediately remove from the heat and allow the oil to infuse in the oil for a few minutes. Add the marinara sauce and bring to a simmer.
- When ready to serve, bring a 3 a skillet of water to a slow boil. Lower one ravioli into the skillet using a large slotted spatula or "spider." Allow to gently boil until the pasta is cooked and filling are cooked, about 5 to 8 minutes. Lift the ravioli out of the water and allow the excess water to drain off. Spoon directly onto a plate that has been prepared with warm marinara sauce. Cover to keep warm and repeat with the other ravioli. To save time, use two skillets to cook the ravioli.
- Garnish with fresh grated cotija or parmesan cheese, minced fresh cilantro or parsley or baby spinach leaves tossed in the tiniest amount of olive oil vinaigrette.
This is a really great Spaghetti Western recipe. and is actually a method I use quite a lot when making ravioli. It saves a load of time when pressing out 4 large ravioli instead of many small ones.
Do try my tips for cooking the ravioli in separate pans and let me know how it worked out for you. You can reach me by leaving a comment on this post or on Facebook.
Happy Clint Eastwood’s birthday! Celebrate with an oldie movie marathon and one of this weeks recipes.
—posted by Sandy