Monday, September 6, 2010


In my opinion, ravioli is probably one of the most versatile pastas you can make. With endless filling options you really can’t go wrong.

Over the weekend Brent had smoked several chicken quarters that I really needed to use so that is how I came up with the first filling, smoked chicken and sundried tomato. The second was a basic three-cheese filling that is classic and universally loved. The particular sauce I whipped up was light and full of flavor, a perfect complement for the bold taste of the smoked chicken and the light taste of the cheese.

Smoked Chicken and Sundried Tomato Filling
½ cup sundried tomatoes
½ cup marinated artichoke hearts
1 ½ cups smoked chicken, shredded off the bone (approximately 3 chicken quarters)
2 cloves garlic
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. fresh ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined and there are no large pieces.

Three-Cheese Filling
½ cup cottage cheese
½ cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, finely minced
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. fresh ground pepper
Fresh basil to taste, finely chopped (I used about 4 large leaves)

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to incorporate.

Tomato Sauce
1 28oz can tomato puree
1 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, grated
1 cup finely diced red onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. fresh ground pepper
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
1 cup chicken stock

In a stockpot coated with olive oil, sauté the onion over medium heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Toss in the carrot and zucchini and continue cooking another 2 minutes, then add salt and pepper. Add in the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the tomato puree and basil, cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Let sit off of the heat for 5 minutes and transfer to a food processor. With the speed on low, slowly pour in the chicken stock until sauce is pureed.

To make Ravioli:
1 batch pasta dough
Fillings of your choice
Ravioli press

If you used the pasta dough recipe above, each dough ball will make one dozen ravioli. Roll the dough until it is thin and translucent, and approximately 12” by 8” in size. You can either cut it in half lengthwise or do like I do and lay the left side of the dough over the ravioli press, saving the right side for the end.

When I made this batch, I did chicken on the left side and cheese on the right – that way I always had equal amounts. It is very important not to overfill your mold; otherwise your ravioli will burst (learned the hard way!) When all 12 holes are filled, fold the right side of your dough over the mold and press down gently with your hands to seal. Then, use your rolling pin to seal the dough securely and “cut” the shapes, pulling any excess dough away. Flip the mold over and gently tap on the counter to release the ravioli.

Place completed ravioli on a well-floured cookie sheet or cutting board to dry for one hour, then flip and dry for another hour. When I made this I ended up with 5 dozen ravioli - not including the 2 dozen I made last night. At this point you may freeze it for later use, or toss it into salted, boiling water to cook for 6-8 minutes. Strain well, toss with tomato sauce and sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese.

Love, KC

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