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Baked Meatballs and Homemade Cheese Ravioli and Malfaldine

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One of the dishes we tried in Rome was ravioli and I loved their sauce. I don’t know what kind of sauce they make but it was delicious and as I had never served ravioli with a sauce before, I decided to make a marinara sauce to serve them.

In the Piazza di Campo dei fiori I bought a ravioli maker and when I started making them they would stick to the mold. I don’t know if I did something wrong, I guess may be I should have added some flour to the mold before adding the dough but I did not think about it at the moment and as I was pressured by time I proceeded with the old fashioned way, cutting them with a wheel. Next time, I will try adding some flour.

Here is what Wikipedia says about Ravioli:

“Ravioli (plural; singular: raviolo) are a type of filled pasta composed of a filling sealed between two layers of thin pasta dough. The word ravioli is reminiscent of the Italian verb riavvolgere (“to wrap”), though the two words are not etymologically connected.The word may also be a diminutive of Italian dialectal rava, or turnip.

The filling may be meat-based (either red or poultry), fish-based, or cheese-based. Ravioli can be rectangular, triangular, half-moon or circular in shape. Other traditional Italian fillings include ricotta mixed with grated cheese and vegetables such as spinach, swiss chard, or nettles or they may be a puree made of potatoes, mushrooms, pumpkin, chestnut or artichokes.

Ravioli are often topped with a red tomato-based sauce: though tomatoes were introduced to European botanists in the 16th century, tomato sauce makes a surprisingly late entry in Italian cuisine: in 1692. More delicate fillings are often paired with sage and melted butter, or more rarely with pesto– or broth-based sauces”.

Ravioli, plural of raviolo have passed in the Cypriot cuisine as raviolia or ravioles plural of raviola, so I have been making ravioli, stuffed with halloumi and mint or kaloirka, stuffed with minced beef, many times.

This time I kept some of the Italian cheeses to recreate this dish.  I made more dough than was needed, so with the leftover dough I made some malfadine or lasagnettes.  These I boiled separately and served with pesto.

Ravioli

Makes: About 70 ravioli

Ingredients:

  • 700 grams all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • about 1 cup water

For cooking

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the filling

  • 150 grams Gorgonzola piccante
  • 170 grams buffalo mozzarella
  • 80 grams ricotta
  • 50 grams formaggio al peperoncino cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dough.  See step by step instructions here.
  2. Roll out the phyllo with pasta machine. Put 1 teaspoon of cheese mixture at one side, next to the other leaving 1 inch (3cm) gaps in between. Cover with remaining phyllo and press with fingers between the gaps to separate and cut with a wheel cutter.  You can cut them either square or semi circle.
  3. Place on a floured surface until you have finished all of them.
  4. Bring water to boil, add salt and a tablespoon of olive oil and boil the ravioli for ten minutes.
  5. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve while hot.

I served the ravioli with Baked Meatballs and Marinara Sauce.

Baked Meatballs

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Baking time: about 30 minutes

Makes: about 30 meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams ground pork and veal, mixed
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 slices white sandwich bread, torn into small cubes
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Line a large roasting pan with parchment paper and brush with olive oil.
  3. Remove the core from the bread, cut it into small pieces and add the milk. Allow it to soak until soft.
  4. Place the minced meat into a large bowl and add the onion, garlic, egg, parmesan, parsley, mint, salt, pepper and basil. Mix well, using your hands to ensure everything is evenly distributed. Crumble the bread into tiny pieces and add it to the meat mixture and mix again.
  5. Take a small amount of the meat, about the size of a walnut, into your hands and roll into a ball.
  6. Place the meatballs on the greased pan.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown. No need to turn them over as they will brown below as well.

Other relevant recipes:

Ravioles Kypriakes (Cypriot Ravioli)

Kaloirka (Cypriot Beef Ravioli)

Makarounotes Hilopites (Homemade Pasta)

How to make dough and roll out phyllo

Homemade Marinara Sauce

Mint Pesto

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