Ravioli - Ραβιόλες
Ravioli or Ravioles as they say here in Cyprus made the Cyprus way with a filling of halloumi cheese or sometimes with Easter cheese. Easy, but time consuming, but then you have not only for today but also for a next time or next times. First some background information: Ravioli (Italian pronunciation: [ra'vjo:li]; singular: raviolo) are a type of pasta comprising a filling enveloped in thin pasta dough. Usually served in broth or with a sauce, they originated as a traditional food in Italian cuisine. Ravioli are commonly square, though other forms are also used, including circular and semi-circular (mezzelune). ref: Wikipedia
The Cyprus Ravioles date probably back to the Venetian times, traditionally prepared with a filling of Halloumi cheese, eggs and dry mint. Mrs. Amalia made them using leftover Easter cheese instead of Halloumi cheese. She did not use a ravioli cutter as I do in the recipe below, but used a glass, I find the cutter is better for obvious reasons, cuts better with less power and makes bite size Ravioli, but there is nothing wrong with using a glass or a cutting wheel. Feel free to use your imagination. The important thing is to have a strong but managable dough and use any filling you desire. Personally I love Ravioles cooked in homemade chicken broth with lots of grated Halloumi on top! Give it a try, you will never go back to Ravioli from the store!
For the dough
600 gr village flour
100 gr farina 00
45 gr olive oil
300 - 325 ml water
For the filling
300 gr halloumi
1-2 teaspoons dry mint
1-2 spoons farina 00
For this dough it is best to use a machine with a dough hook as the dough needs to be a strong one.
Add all ingredients for the dough in the mixer bowl and kneed with the hook for about 10 minutes, add the water in stages in order that the dough does not become too soft, some flours need more water, some less depending on their quality.
Wrap the dough in clingfilm and rest for at least half an hour.
In the meantime grate the Halloumi by hand or in the kitchen machine.
Add the eggs and mint and mix all ingredients.
Add 1 or 2 spoons of flour to the mixture. When hard Halloumi is used the mixture may need another egg as the egg will be absorbed by the hard and dry Halloumi where with fresh Halloumi you may need some more flour. Make sure the mixture does not become to dry.
Cut a piece of the dough and wrap the rest again in the clingfilm as to prevent from drying out. Press the dough slightly by hand or with a rolling pin in order to make it easier to pass through the pasta maker. The pasta maker in the picture is a manual one, electrical ones are also available in the market. Pass the sheet through the machine each time turning it to a thinner position. No 3 is thin enough for the Ravioli, should not be too thin as they will fall apart whilst cooking. Sprinkle a little flour on the sheet front and back before passing through the pasta maker.
Place little heaps of filling on the sheet with little space between them.
Fold over the edge of the sheet.
Ready for cutting the Ravioli.
Place the cutter over the filling and press well.
If necessary push the Ravioli out of the cutter and place them on a dish dusted with a little flour.
This recipe is good for more or less 140 Ravioli. At this point they can be frozen. Cover the Ravioli with aluminum foil and freeze overnight. The next morning place them in a plastic container or a freezer bag. Depending of course how big your appetite is, but generally 20 Ravioli are fine per person.
You will find that there is a lot of leftover sheets which can be used for tagiatelle or spaghetti using the same pasta maker and its tool. Kneed small pieces of dough by hand and pass through the machine 2-3 times on the thickest position folding it double each time in order to make it smooth and then start passing it through on a thinner position. Make nests of the tagiatelle and freeze in the same way as the Ravioli.
The Ravioli need about 15 minutes to cook, taste and cook to your liking.
Enjoy! - Καλή όρεξη!