|Asparagus-Cheese Ravioli with Alfredo Sauce|
One of my favourites is Asparagus Cheese Ravioli smothered with a homemade Alfredo Sauce. Serve that with a Caesar Salad and your friends and family will be oohing and aahing over the meal.
There are two stages to this recipe. First the filling. It's best to make it first so it can cool a bit while you make the pasta for the Ravioli but don't worry, it's easy! The best part of this is that after you make the pasta, you can freeze it and cook it later if you want. I'll explain how to do that later.
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup mascarpone
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 1 & 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
Blend all dough ingredients in a food processor until mixture just begins to form a ball. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface, adding only as much additional flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic. This takes about6 to 8 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature 1 hour.
You can stop and put the wrapped dough in the refrigerator overnight if you want. Let it come to room temperature before continuing on. If you just want to keep going, here's the next stage:
Using a pasta machine, set rollers of pasta machine on widest setting. Feed rectangle, short side first, through rollers. Fold rectangle in thirds and feed it, short side first, through rollers. Repeat 6 or 7 more times, folding dough in thirds and feeding it through rollers, short side first each time, dusting with flour to prevent sticking if necessary.
Turn dial to next (narrower) setting and feed dough through rollers without folding, short side first. Continue to feed dough through without folding, making space between rollers narrower each time, until the second- or third-narrowest setting is used. Do not roll too thin or pasta will tear when filled.
Cut pasta sheet in half, length-wise. Set one half aside. Lay the other half on a lightly floured surface or a towel. Using a Ravioli cutter, gently press it into the sheet of pasta, making a light indentation for each ravioli square. This helps guide you when you mound the filling into the center of each.
Place one mounded teaspoon of the cooled filling on the pasta sheet in the center of each marked ravioli square. Work quickly or the pasta will dry out. When you have used all the filling (you should get about 24 ravioli from this), wet the edges of each ravioli square with water, then place the second pasta sheet on top and press down gently around the mounded filling to squeeze out trapped air.
Now take your ravioli cutter and press firmly down on each ravioli square so that you have all your nice little ravioli squares cut out and ready to either cook or freeze.