Note: I know I was MIA for several months, but I think I'm honestly back in the game. I've spent hours and hours going overboard making food for parties (first the cookies, now this pasta), and I've even gotten back into documenting the minor meals that I make, in case they end up blog-worthy. So have no fear, I think I'm here to stay for awhile. Now, if I could just sit down and write my damn book...Happy post-holidays food coma! I hope you are recovering nicely from your Christmas binge-eating session, and preparing yourself (and your stomach) for a New Years filled with cheesy appetizers and sugary desserts. Yum.
This was my first "real" Christmas this year, and I'm thrilled to say it went well. What do I mean by real Christmas? Well, Kevin and I got a tree together, decorated it, woke up early on Christmas day, opened presents, went back to sleep, and then spent the day with his family. His mom even knitted me my very own stocking 🙂
Since the family party was a bring your own appetizers and desserts kind of deal, I decided to hand-make some pasta dish. From there I chose ravioli, and from there I decided that striping it with red and green was a great idea.
As it turns out, it's not too difficult as long as you have a pasta roller that has a fettucine cutter attachment (I got mine for like $30 at Bed, Bath and Beyond). It is extremely time consuming, however, especially if it is Christmas Eve in Buffalo and your Kitchenaid is in Rochester, 60 miles away.
Using the recipes from this website, which has tons of great tips and tricks for homemade pasta dough, Kevin and I set out to make three colors of dough.
It took a few tries to get the hang of doing it by hand, and we discovered that mixing it in a bowl was better than on the counter. Less messy, too. The white pasta was just the plain egg pasta dough recipe.
For the red we mixed tomato paste into the eggs before adding them to the flour. This turned it into an orange-ish color, but we didn't have beets on hand. Also I hate beets. The green dough, which came out beautifully, was made using spinach.
Following me so far? We made plain white dough, red tomato dough, and green spinach dough, all from this website. We tried adding some red food coloring to the red dough, but it did NOT mix in. So don't try that. I decided the orange was good enough.
Then the fun part. I gently floured my work surface and lay the green sheet down. Using a paper towel that I dipped in a cup of water, I added a thin layer of water to the top of the green. Then I started laying the stripes down, pressing them to stick them to the green base. The water acts like glue. Once the stripes were in place I gently floured the top, and ran it through the pasta machine on the lowest setting.
Then I used the newly flat sheet of pasta to fill my ravioli, just like I would with a plain sheet. The stripes did give it more stress points, so I did have a couple ravioli pop open along the seams, but I easily patched those up.
Handmade pasta is impressive by itself. But when you take the time (seriously, it takes a lot of time) to triple stripe the dough? People are amazed. And Kevin and I felt like rockstars at the family party, where everybody was gushing about how great our raviolis were.
I'll post the recipe for the filling soon, and the deliciously simple cream sauce that we served with it.