Ricotta & Lemon Zest Ravioli with Puréed Zucchini Sauce

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Source Petite Kitchenesse and Calabria from Scratch

Preparation Time

Servesabout 3 dozen raviolis

AmountIngredientPreparation
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
a little bit olive oil

Ravioli Filling

AmountIngredientPreparation
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
3 tbsp greek yogurt
one lemon's lemon zest
to taste salt

Puréed Zucchini Sauce

AmountIngredientPreparation
1 lb zucchini halved or quartered lengthwise and sliced to about 1/4 inch thick
1 bunch scallions (or one small onion) chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
1 chicken boullion cube (vegetable may be substituted), crumbled
2 tbsp romano cheese (or parmesan) freshly ground
to taste black pepper
to taste romano cheese (or parmesan)

1. Pour flour into a large bowl and create a well in the center. Crack your eggs into the well.

2. Using a fork, blend eggs and slowly incorporate flour. When you can no longer blend with the fork, begin working the dough with your hands. Once you have a solid ball of dough, transfer to a well-floured surface. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top and knead for several minutes, adding more oil if necessary, until you have a smooth dough. Cover with a damp tea towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

3. In the meantime, make your filling. Combine ricotta, Greek yogurt, lemon zest, a few shakes of salt, and stir to combine. I would recommend using less than one lemon’s worth of zest. In my finished dish, the lemon flavor was great at first, but became a little over-powering after a while. Taste filling and add more salt if needed, until it seems right to you. Set aside.

4. Uncover dough and prepare to roll out. If you have a pasta crank, go ahead and do your thing with that (and know that my rolling pin and I envy you very much). If not, roll out dough on a well-floured surface, with a well-floured rolling pin. If, after a bit of rolling, you feel like the dough is really starting to resist, just let it rest for a few minutes. (As you work the dough, glutens form and strengthen, increasing its elasticity. If you leave it alone for a few minutes, the glutens will relax and the dough will be easy to work with once again.) Roll the dough out as thin as you can (I shoot for around 1/16 of an inch or less).

5. Once you have your thin sheet of dough, you have a couple of options. You could cut the sheet into evenly-shaped halves, place spoonfuls of filling about an inch apart over one half, cover with the other, press to seal, and cut into squares with a pastry wheel (or a knife, if you don’t care about pretty, crinkly edges). I do care about pretty edges, but do not have a pastry wheel. So, I use a round cookie cutter (approx. 3 inches in diameter) with rippled edges. I place a spoonful (approx. a teaspoon and a half) of filling in the center, fold one edge over to meet the other, and press to seal. I find that a tiny bit of water helps to dough to seal. You can wet your finger and run it along the edges, or just give the ravioli a misting from a clean spray bottle.

6. If you cut your ravioli the way I do, you’ll have a bit of leftover dough. Just knead it back into a ball, let it rest, and repeat the process, until you’ve used up all the dough or your arms hurt and you’re starving. Set ravioli aside on a floured surface and cover with your tea towel. (Note: you can always freeze any ravioli that you won’t use right away. Just layer them in a large container, separated by sheets of parchment paper.)

7. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add ravioli. Once the they begin to float, they’re ready! (Keep an eye on them; you’d be surprised how quickly fresh pasta will cook.) Drain water and cover with puréed zucchini sauce.

Puréed Zucchini Sauce

1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan. Add garlic and scallions, and saute over medium heat until soft. Add zucchini, parsley, basil, and bullion cube.

2. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, until soft (around 20 minutes). You may need to add some water, depending on how much liquid the zucchini release. When you’re able to smush them with a spoon, they’re ready.

3. Place mixture in a blender and purée until smooth. If it isn’t blending easily, just add a little bit more water. Blend in 2 tablespoons of cheese and spoon over ravioli. Grate more cheese over top as needed. Enjoy!

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