Thursday, July 21, 2011

Family Recipe Friday - Ravioli...The Way My Irish Mom Used To Make!

So my mom's 100% Irish, but she loved cooking all kinds of food...except Irish food.  Maybe I should make her my Guinness Stew over Colcannon while I'm home!

Anyway, this is my mom's recipe for ravioli.  She made the dough from scratch, but if you're in a hurry you can always cheat by using wonton wrappers (shhh!  Don't tell mom I said that!)

Basic Noodle Dough

4 c. flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
6 tbsp cold water

In a bowl combine the flour and salt, making a well in the center.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing the ingredients lightly with a fork or your fingers as the dough begins to come together.  After all eggs are incorporated, gradually add the cold water.  Mix well.  Knead for several minutes.


1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 lbs ground beef (no idea what fat/lean ratio it would be today)
1/2 c Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp dried oregano

Saute the onion in the olive oil.  When the onion is just about done (almost clear) add the garlic and continue sauteing until the onion is clear.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the meat to the hot pan and brown, breaking up with a wooden spoon as it cooks.  Drain the fat from the pan.  Return the onion and garlic to the pan and combine.  Add the cheese, oregano and egg.

To assemble the ravioli

Roll the dough out on a floured surface.  It should be very thin but not falling apart.  Cut into squares, circles or whatever shape you want the ravioli to be (When my mom would roll the dough it was more round than a rectangle so they weren't all perfect squares, but that just made them special!).  Place some meat mixture on one half of the dough.  Dip your finger into some egg wash (beaten egg mixed with water) and put on the edges of the dough.  Fold the dough over the meat and press to seal.  After all ravioli are made use a fork to crimp the edges closed.

Bring water to a boil and drop ravioli in batches into the boiling water.  They don't need to cook long because the meat is already cooked.  You're just warming them up!  Serve with your favorite pasta sauce or pesto.  Mom always topped with her spaghetti sauce.  That'll be another Family Recipe Friday!

If you'd like to save the uncooked ravioli for cooking at a later date, just place them in one layer on cookie sheets and freeze for a few hours.  If you don't have a big freezer and you need to stack the ravioli, remember to put waxed paper between layers.

I love mom's ravioli.  Just typing this makes me want to run into the kitchen and start making them.  I'm going to be bad (mom may throw something at me when she reads this), but I'm going to make a little change to the recipe and see how it turns out.  Because the meat in this recipe is already cooked completely it seems to just roll out of the center of the ravioli after that first bite.  The egg binder never really kept everything together.  So I'm going to not cook...or maybe par-cook the meat.  It'll cook when boiling, it's just you'll have to cook longer.  I'll have to post an update after I try it...if mom lets me live long enough to try it!

I'll be sure to post pictures too!