There is an art to making ravioli and I havent cracked it yet! But fortunately, help is at hand in the form of master pasta maker Nicos, from Giacobazzis deli in north London, a family shop run by husband and wife team Raff and Renata.
In the first of my masterclasses, I was treated to a hands-on demonstration in the arts of making tortelloni.
This is my second lesson¦How to make Ravioli
1. First make your pasta dough. Recipes vary, but mine for 4 people is 200g sieved tipo 00 flour, 2 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks. Bring together to form a dough. Knead for 10 mins. Set the pasta machine to the widest setting. Feed the dough through five times, then reduce the setting. Keep feeding and reducing the setting until you get to the thinnest setting. Cut the sheets of dough down as you go along to keep them manageable. At the end of the process you should have several sheets of pasta, approx. 1 mm thick.
2. On a floured surface, lay out a pasta sheet approx. 10 cm wide and 60cm long. Use a pasta wheel to cut the sheets into approx. 10cm x 10cm squares.
3. Take a spoonful of your pasta filling (Nicos used ricotta, mushrooms, Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper) and place in the centre of the sheet. Do this approx. six times at equal intervals.
4. Now lay another sheet of pasta over the top of the fillings and using your hand, cup around each mound to gently press the air out.
5. Once the air is out, use a round (or square) pasta cutter to press out your desired shape of ravioli.
6. Then use a slightly smaller mould to seal the ravioli (this is vital: you dont want water seeping into the parcels, nor filling leaking out. Some recipes recommend brushing with water or egg wash to achieve that seal, but this method works fine for Giacobazzis).
7. If making in advance, dust with a little semolina flour to prevent sticking.
8. When its time to cook, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the ravioli parcels for 3-4 mins.
Anyway, these pictures and the video above tell the story better than any words I could write.