Mezza Luna Cheese Ravioli

ravioli di formaggio mezza luna

When I spotted the tool (shown at the right) at Sur la Table it seemed like a good $5.00 investment in making ravioli easily. The packaging on the tool said potstickers, empanadas, kreplachs, piroshki, ravioli, pasties. But what it doesn't say is that gluten free pasta dough is too challenging for the tool! The uncooked pastry breaks along the hinge line. However, gluten free ravioli can be made pretty easily by hand without this tool. You can use any pasta dough recipe or the dough recipe below. You can use any filling recipe or the ricotta parmesan recipe below. For additional creativity check out the website of my neighbor who writes the Book of Yum. Click here for one of her ravioli recipes, but she has others on her website.

The pasta dough below is a modification of the potsticker dough from the card that the Joyce Chen tool was mounted on. The flour and water mixture on the card does not make a good gluten free pasta. A web search revealed that some pastas have olive oil incorporated into the dough. This particular one does not; however, it does have egg to add richness and binding power. You can also add salt, garlic powder or herbs to the dough to make the pasta more interesting, but not so much that it fights the sauce. Alternatively, you can add herbs and spices to filling.

Making ravioli is more about how to do it than what to put in it. Of course, if you have a pasta machine and cutters, then you can make the traditional square pasta. But this is how to make mezza luna pasta without pasta tools.

If you want to make pasta with pasta tools, there are great instructions on Gluten Freeda's site.

The tools you will need for mezza luna ravioli are (from left to right on the bottom row): flexible spatula, bench scraper, basting brush and English muffin tin. On top is a pasta drainer used for lowering and lifting the ravioli from the boiling water. In the middle are a wooden rolling pin and circular thickness spacers. The flexible spatula and bench scraper are used to lift the pasta rounds from the rolling surface if the pasta sticks. The basting brush is used to moisten the edges of the pasta with water to seal in the cheese filling. You can use a water tumbler with a 3" diameter to cut out the pasta rounds or the 3-1/2" English muffin tin. A kit of rolling pin rings and English muffin tins are available from Sur la Table, Amazon or King Arthur Flour's Bakers Catalogue. The rolling pin spacing rings are "Regency Evendough Bands."
Here is a tray of filled ravioli. These can be boiled immediately or frozen for use later.
Boil the ravioli in a large, shallow pot. Raviolis should not be crowded. Notice that one of the raviolis is a "full moon" with two teaspoons of filling. This was also successful. We also filled one ravioli with chopped mushrooms, and it was equally good.
Add sauce and serve.
The ravioli is just as delicious as it looks. Ready to begin?

 

Ravioli Pasta
Amount
Measure
Ingredient
1/4
Cup
Tapioca Flour
2
Cups
Your favorite gluten free flour
1 - 2
teaspoons
Xanthan Gum
2
Whole
Eggs
About 7
Tablespoons
Warm water

 

Ravioli Filling
Amount
Measure
Ingredient
1
Cup
Reduced fat ricotta cheese
1/2 or more
Cup
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
1
Whole
Egg (optional)
1/8
teaspoon
Nutmeg (optional)
1/2
teaspoon
Salt
Black pepper to taste
2
tablespoons
Dried parsley
Oregano (optional)

For the ravioli pasta, place the dry ingredients and the egg into the work bowl of an electric mixer and mix until blended. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until you have a very thick putty-like paste that can be rolled out. The paste should be damp enough that it does not crumble when rolled thin. Blend thoroughly for 2 minutes. Now you are ready to make the dough disks.

Spread a think layer of tapioca flour on the surface where you are rolling out your dough. Take out a piece of dough, somewhat smaller than a walnut, put it into the flour, turn it over, and with your hand flatten it. Next, using the rolling pin to which you have added the spacers, roll out a sheet of dough 1/16 thick. If you do not have rolling pin spacers you can go to the hardware store and purchase a 1/16" flat aluminum strip and cut it to two convenient lengths to serve as linear spacers.

Now using a biscuit cutter, english muffin ring or water tumbler, cut out a 3" to 3-1/2" dough circle. If two people are working, the second person can begin to make the finished ravioli.

Place 1 teaspoon of the filling onto the dough disk. You don't want to place the filling mound in the center because you will want to fold the disk over on itself to form the half moon. Also, you do not want to have the filling interfere with the edge areas on the disk which will meet when the top is folded over to the bottom. So, the filling is heaped just "in front" of the center line.

Dip the pastry brush into water and dampen the circumference of the disk. Fold the "top" (the portion of the disk behind the filling) of the disk over so that the round edges of the disk touch. Press the dough halves together. This will seal the filling into the dough packet and keep the filling dry when the ravioli are boiled.

If you wish to dampen the edge of the disk before you add the filling, you may do so. Both before and after were tried, and it did not make any difference in the outcome.

This recipe makes 25 - 30 raviolis. You will be re-using the scrap dough left over from cutting out the circles. Accordingly, you will want to minimize the scrap as multiple re-rollings make the pasta tougher.

When you are ready, cook the fresh raviolis for 6 - 10 minutes in boiling water. Al dente pasta is ready when the ravioli packets float.