>> Thursday, March 11, 2010
I know what you're thinking. Don't even say it. It's not summer. I know! But I have this amazing recipe -- fresh from the METHOD archives, and I just have to share it. You can one-hundred-percent substitute zucchini or another type a squash, too.
So, don't get all technical on me, OK? :)
Here's the original post:
Last week, my friend Marissa asked me what she could do with a bunch of summer squash. I didn't have any great ideas at first . . . but when I arrived home that evening, I found that I, too, had inherited a ton of the stuff from one of my husband's co-workers.
What to do???
I immediately decided I didn't want to cop out and just slice it into pasta or something. That got me thinking, though . . . ah, pasta! I hadn't make my own, from-scratch pasta in a while. So, Saturday morning, that's exactly what I did. And I think it turned out extremely well!
If you have yet to make pasta from scratch, don't worry. It seems much more intimidating than it actually is. Also, I don't have a pasta attachment for my mixer . . . so, really, this is easy even without all the fancy stuff. Trust me! All you need is a rolling pin, a knife, and a fork. However, for the earlier instructions, you will need a blender or food processor.
And a mixer is handy for kneading the dough.
Unfortunately, I was unable to get a photo of the cooked & finished product. My camera battery died :( BUT it cooked just as well as the lasagna I made for the March Daring Bakers challenge. Yum!
SUMMER SQUASH & BASIL RAVIOLI
What you'll need . . .
- 2 jumbo eggs (2 ounces)
- 10 ounces summer squash, peeled and cubed
- 12 large basil leaves
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 2 cups wheat pastry flour
- 1-/2 cups unbleached white flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 big handful of baby spinach
Method . . .
STEP 1: Put the cubed summer squash, cloves of garlic, and basil leaves in a blender and set it to "food chop" if you have that option. You may also use a food processor set to chop. I had to "feed" my squash into the blades a bit by pushing gently with a spoon. Be careful! Blend until no large lumps remain.
STEP 2: In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the flours and salt . . . and then lightly use your fist to make an indentation in the middle large enough for the squash and eggs to fit inside.
STEP 3: Crack the eggs and pour the squash mixture into the indentation you created. Then with a spatula, gently mix and start to incorporate everything together until moistened. After a while . . . you may find it is difficult to mix everything together. For a split second you may think, "No! I added too much flour, and now this won't turn out!" It's indeed a critical moment, but you needn't fret.
STEP 4: At that point, get your bread-kneading attachment (a.k.a. Mr. Hook in my house) and set your mixer speed to low. Let it knead for five or more minutes, until your dough is smooth and elastic. If for some reason it is still sticky, add a bit more flour, 1/8 cup at a time. Same with if it's too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time.
STEP 5: Take your ball of dough and cover it with plastic wrap. Set in a room-temperature place (I put mine in our microwave and, no, it wasn't on!) for 30 minutes to 3 hours (I let mine sit while I did other things for a little OVER 3 hours).
STEP 6: When you have 20 or so minutes until you're done waiting for STEP 5 to be done, get out your food processor and blend together the ricotta cheese & spinach. Just blend until fully incorporated. It will be tempting to eat it . . . but you must resist.
STEP 7: Generously flour a large work surface and split your large dough ball into two smaller balls. Also lightly flour a rolling pin and put your first dough ball atop some flour. Start to roll out the dough. The key is to act like you're stretching it out rather than pressing it down. You want to get it as thin as possible (without compromising the integrity, so maybe the width of a quarter plus just a tiny bit more? You'll know what's right when you're doing it -- just keep in mind that when it cooks, it gets slightly thicker).
STEP 8: Once it's all rolled out, take a sharp knife and cut it into large squares. I think 2 to 2-1/2 inch squares work well, but it's really up to you.
STEP 9: Repeat STEPS 7 & 8 with the other ball of dough.
STEP 10: Put a large pot of water over high heat on the stove.
STEP 11: Take one square, put a heaping teaspoon of ricotta filling atop it and then top it off with another square by gently pressing around the edges. To seal the deal, use a fork to press in those edges. If they aren't sticking, you may want to have a small bowl of warm water handy, which can help if you lightly coat the edges and THEN press to seal. Again, I know it sounds lazy of me, but you will know what to do when you're doing it. Plus, you can always improvise. Continue with the rest of the squares. If you have squares left over, you may wish to roll them together and save for another time. I didn't have that many left over, as I didn't 100% blend all of my squash, so I had some big chunks to contend with.
STEP 11: When your water is boiling (wait until it is a violent boil) drop a third of your to-be ravioli into the pot. You want to cook them in smaller batches so that they don't stick together. Make sure you gently stir during this process (and keep the heat as is) so they don't stick to the bottom. Ravioli is "done" when they all start to float to the top. I think this takes approx. 3 to 4 minutes. But keep a watchful eye. Take out with a slotted spoon and repeat with the rest of the batches.
STEP 12: Serve with your favorite pasta sauce, sprinkle some Parmesan cheese, and ENJOY!
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