If you have ever watched a cooking program in which fresh pasta is being made, I’m sure you know what an intricate art form it can be. In fact, not that long ago, I even saw a book exploring and photographing nothing but the complex geometric shapes of pasta; some so intricate that up close they appeared to resemble the insides of flowers and sea shells.
The world over, nearly ever culture has its own variation. Comfort food for many, high cuisine for some, countless books and recipes exist, solely to chronicle people’s love affair with pasta. Spaghetti, linguine, spirals, bow ties, raviolis, or dumplings, everyone has their own unique version.
For this, our next entry in our gluten free count down to the holidays, we decided to post our further experiments with the art of making gluten free ravioli.
Several months ago, we posted a blog entry all about the history of ravioli and tortelloni, and our attempts at making a gluten free version; if you would like to read the post, please click here.
Making pasta in general is quite a delicate and time consuming art, as we found out, though not particularly difficult if you have the right recipe. The dough needs to be rolled out thin enough to create a casing for the ravioli, but not so thin that it breaks. Our version lends itself especially well,with just the right amount of elasticity to save it from being too dry, and allow it to be easily worked with. This is a fun recipe to experiment with, even if you are not an experienced cook, especially around the holidays where you can join everyone together to share in the fun of creating a wonderful meal.
In the spirit of the season, with everyone celebrating the abundance of readily available root vegetables, we decided to make this version of gluten free ravioli with a pumpkin filling, though we have made other versions in the past stuffed with greens and cheese. I absolutely adore pumpkin. Pumpkin soup, stew, pumpkin pie, pudding, muffins or ravioli, it lends it self to so many recipes that the possibilities are almost endless.
As a side dish, or a vegetarian main course gracing your thanksgiving table, this recipe provides an elegant and surprising alternative to many well known holiday favorites.
Gluten Free Ravioli
For the dough:
2 large eggs
2-1/2 cups gluten free flour consisting of:
1 cup tapioca flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 tsp. guar gum
1/2 tsp. Himalaya salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup coconut milk
For the filling:
1/2 can organic pumpkin (approx. 7 1/2 oz.)
1/4 cup cottage cheese
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, stems removed
3 Tbsp. fresh chives, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. Himalaya salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1. In the bowl of a food processor, sift together the dry ingredients with the water, coconut milk, and eggs. Pulse until all the ingredients are well mixed, and form a ball of dough. While this recipe can be made by hand, a food processor does bring a cohesiveness to the dough much faster, while also adding lightness. Set the dough aside while you make the filling.
2. To make the filling, mix together the canned pumpkin, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and finely chopped herbs until a creamy filling is created. Set aside.
3. Divide the dough in half for ease of rolling, and turn out onto a lightly floured board. Roll out until a roughly even square, or rectangle about 1/8 inch thick, forms. Don’t worry about it being perfect, as the edges can be trimmed to create a more even shape.
4. Cut the square of dough into 1-1/2 inch wide strips, dividing each long strip into small rectangles, which when folded over, will form the individual ravioli.
5. Place about 1/2 tsp. of the filling mixture on one half of each small rectangle of dough. Fold the other half over the top, pressing the edges together to create a small filled pocket. Repeat this process until all the dough has been rolled out and filled. This recipe should make 28 to 32 ravioli, depending on how big you make them.
6. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add in 4 or 5 ravioli. You will know that the ravioli are cooked when they begin to float to the surface of the water. Remove and place in a lightly oiled baking dish, set in a warm oven, continuing to add the rest of the cooked ravioli, along with a few drops of olive oil to keep them from sticking together.
7. Once all the ravioli are cooked, serve with your favorite pasta sauce or pesto. Because there was extra pumpkin filling left over, we decided to cook it up separately to see how it would turn out if used as a pasta sauce. YUM!! I think, for myself, this pumpkin sauce has now become a new favorite, which I will try with any sort of pasta dish from now on. We also tried a much more classic marinara, as another sauce option, and decided that it also tasted nice, creating an interesting contrast with the pumpkin filling.
Well, what do you think? Will this recipe convince you to be daring and try making gluten free pasta for yourself? I hope so. It is really quite fun, and very easy once you get the hang of it. Please feel free to send us your thoughts and comments as you try this recipe, and develop new variations of your own. Maybe this will become a new favorite, gracing your holiday table for years to come.
Ed. Note: Please excuse our poor photography in this post and please, don’t let it be a reflection on the excellent quality of this recipe. Updated photography coming very soon.