Cheese Ravioli: Handmade and Pillowy

You won't taste better ravioli than the ones you make yourself. You will need a hand-cranked or electric pasta machine or the roller type pasta attachment for a stand mixer.

Aside from being utterly delicious, ravioli are fun to make. Here is a three-cheese ravioli tastier than any you'll ever buy.  These freeze perfectly, so make enough for another meal.

Basic Egg Pasta (yield: 1 ½ lbs. dough)
3 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 T water
½ t salt

Place flour, eggs, water and salt in bowl of food processor with metal blade.  Pulse until dough comes together.  Remove dough from bowl and hand knead until dough is smooth, about 2 minutes.  Divide into 4 balls, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.

12 oz. fresh ricotta cheese
4 oz. fresh smoked mozzarella, cut into a small dice
2 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
2 large egg yolks
1/8 t ground nutmeg
2 T pignoli nuts, lightly toasted and chopped
2 T parsley, finely chopped
¼ t freshly ground black pepper
1 T heavy cream (Add if mixture seems dry.)
2 T salt (for water)
Mix together and chill until ready to use.

Using a hand cranked pasta machine or the pasta attachment for a stand mixer, roll out one ball of dough.  Continue to fold and roll out on wide rollers and then thin out the dough until setting # 6.  Cut one section of pasta the width of your workspace.  Along the length of the sheet place heaping teaspoons of filling about ¾ inch from edge and 1 1/2 inches apart. (see photos)

Have a small bowl of water nearby to moisten one long edge and between each mound of filling.  (Don’t moisten both long edges.)  Fold over dough and press dough together with the side of your hand.  Make sure dough is sealed around each mound of filling.  With a zigzag pastry cutter, cut along the long straight edge and between each mound of filling.  Place each ravioli on a baking sheet lightly covered with flour.  Chill.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add 2 T salt.  Gently add 9 or 10 ravioli and simmer for 4 minutes.  Test one for doneness. Pull out ravioli with a large slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  Fold into your favorite sauce. 

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