The recent purchase of a £25 bargain pasta maker* has led to a spate of fresh pasta making here at Yumblog Towers. Whether this enthusiasm lasts or whether this gadget ends up in the back of the cupboard along with the onion goggles, Waring Professional Martini Maker, OXO Good Grips® Strawberry Huller, Cuisinart® Soup Maker, some nonsense called a ‘Stirr’, and not forgetting the glorified jam jar that is the Jamie Oliver® Flavour Shaker, who knows?** Anyway, it was Hallowe’en and I had recently scored some squid ink, so it could only be black pasta.
Preparation time: Put aside about 2 hours
Cooking time: 30 – 40 minutes
Skill level: Medium to a bit tricksy
Makes: Enough for 2-3 people
For the pasta:
- pasta flour – 200g
- 2 free-range eggs – beaten
- squid ink – a sachet (about a tsp)
- a pinch of salt
For the filling: (you will probably have plenty left over, but it is difficult to work with smaller quantities)
- sustainable cod or other white fish – 150g
- 2 anchovy fillets
- half a medium onion – very finely chopped
- white wine – a slug of
- ricotta – 100g
- 1 egg yolk
- s & p
Our Cylon pumpkin***
To make the pasta, sieve the flour into a mound in a bowl (or kitchen surface if you want to be authentic), make a hollow in the centre of the mound and drop in the beaten egg and squid ink. Gradually collapse the sides of the flour mound into the egg mixture and mix to form a dough. Depending on the size of your eggs, you may need to add a little water.
Knead for about 8 minutes until the dough is soft, flexible and black.
The squid ink is very thick and initially it looks like it will never mix in properly to form a black dough … don’t worry, it does.
Wrap your dough in cling film and put aside in the fridge until needed.
For the filling, sweat the chopped onions in melted butter for a few minutes until translucent.
Add the anchovies and continue to cook for a minute or two until fully dissolved.
Chop the fish into half-inch cubes and add to the onion mixture.
Pour in the wine and simmer until virtually all the liquid is gone (takes about 10 minutes).
Turn off the heat and set aside to cool. When cool, mix in the egg yolk and ricotta.
Butter innocently melting in the pan … or the ghostly silhouette of a bulldog?****
Remove the pasta dough from the fridge, divide into four and roll each piece into a flat thin sheet. If you own a pasta maker you should already know how to do this.
Use a pastry cutter to cut the pasta into circles (or any other shape you fancy).
Place a small amount of filling in the centre of half the circles, wet the edges and top with the other half. Pinch together to form a tight seal.
Place on a well floured surface until needed.
Boil up some salted water in a large pan and add the ravioli.
Meanwhile, melt some butter. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes, drain, plate up, pour over the melted butter and serve.
* Seems well made and solid enough.
** Apart from the onion goggles, all this crap is available online from Lakeland.
*** Actually a Cylon melon as we couldn’t find a pumpkin in Bethnal Green.
**** Probably just melting butter.
Verdict: These are good. In the past my hand-rolled ravioli pasta has been a bit on the thick side (No, no, it has … oh you’re too kind) but this, thanks to my new gadget, was perfect. The filling was light and creamy with just the right amount of fishiness. Overall this was possibly worth the 2 hours it took to make.
Drink: Finished off the bottle of cooking white along with a rogue beer from the fridge.
Entertainment: A second viewing of ‘In the Loop’ – “Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult” still funny, funny, lemon funny.
The Black Hallowe’en Ravioli contact sheet