Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pasta on the Fly... Who Knows Where it Will Lead?

Soooo, today I thought I would make a gorgeous crab and ricotta ravioli with a fresh parsley leaf imbedded in the pasta.  I actually ended up with parsley fettucine and pasta rolls and learned a few lessons along the way.  Kitchen adventures!
Herb fettucine

Fresh herbs ready to be "embedded"
Embedding fresh parsley leaves in pasta results in a great looking ravioli.  It's just not a good idea to leave the stems on, which I did.  They tore the  pasta sheets as I rolled them through the narrowest setting on the pasta maker.  "Holey" pasta is not recommended for ravioli.  So these sheets of pasta became nifty looking fettucine noodles.

Undaunted, I rolled plain pasta for the ravioli.  I placed one sheet in the new ravioli tray, loaded in the crab filling, topped it all with another sheet and rolled the pin over the top. It should have been a "VoilĂ " moment.  Instead, it was a sticky, gluey mess impossible to remove from the tray.  I'll need to try that one again sometime - I have a few ideas on how to improve this process.

Pretty "ugly" ravioli- but oh so good.
I moved on to the alternative method: long pasta sheets folded over the filling and then cut.  Labour intensive, not especially great looking without using a pasta cutter to "pretty up" the edges.  However, I am pleased to report that the cooked ravioli tasted great.  Ok- partial victory, but I didn't want more than the dozen raviolis already made.  They were pretty ugly.

Rollatine ready for the oven
I still had a few pasta sheets and ravioli filling left.  What to do?  I'll call it rollatine (my word and, I suspect, not an Italian one) I spread the leftover crab filling over the pasta sheet and rolled it.  I cut the rolls into two inch pieces.  Made a quick tomato cream sauce.  Placed sauce in the bottom of a muffin pan, placed the rolls over the sauce; more sauce over the rolls; Parmesan cheese over the sauce.  Baked the rolls in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Nice!

So that's the pasta adventure for today.

Crab and Ricotta Filling for ravioli or rollatine
1/2    lb crab meat
1/2    lb ricotta cheese
1       egg
1/4    cut, finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, chives)
1/4    cut mozzarella cheese (or a mixture of your favourite cheese)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together.  I used this filling for ravioli and for the rollatine.

Rollatine with a spinach salad

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