Monday, August 02, 2004

Chicken, basil and macadamia ravioli 

I finally succumbed to the temptation of buying a pasta machine! See my blog for more about that. This was my first attempt so ignore the rather munted looking result - they tasted fantastic, though ;*)

What you'll need:
For the pasta:
3 eggs
4 cups sifted plain flour
1/4 cup of water
2 tablespoons olive oil
(I used pasta mix from my bread shop - you still have to add eggs, oil and water, but the flour is made from the right variety of wheat)

For the filling:
250gm (about 1/2 pound) minced chicken
about 3/4 cup crushed macadamia nuts
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil

To top it off:
one small or half a large sweet potato, cut into chunks
full cream fetta cheese
shaved parmesan cheese
a drizzle of good olive oil

What to do:
The pasta:
Prepare the dough - I just mixed it using the dough setting on my breadmaker. Roll it out thinly, using either a pasta machine or a rolling pin. If you're using a pasta machine, we got the best results by not making the pasta too thin. Use a little extra flour if needed - the dough should be really pliable and elastic, but firm. Let it stand for 15 minutes after kneading before working with it.

The filling:
This is really easy - just mix the mince, basil and crushed macadamia nuts really well.

Flour a ravioli mold and place a sheet of the pasta over it, making sure the pasta overlaps the zigzag edges.
Place a little of the chicken mix into each cavity, pushing it down well. Make sure the mix doesn't rise above the level of the mold.

Place a second sheet of pasta over the top, overlapping the edges. With a rolling pin, start at the centre of the ravioli tray and roll firmly in both directions untill all ravioli have been sealed and cut. You should be able to just tip out the ravioli by turning the mold upsidedown ... ermmm.... we had to prise them out, which is why some of them look munted!

Place the prepared ravioli on floured cloths and let them sit for about an hour before cooking. This recipe made about 3 1/2 dozen.

While the ravioli are drying, brush the chunks of sweet potato with olive oil and roast til cooked.

Bring salted water to the boil in a large pot. Drop in the ravioli, cook for about 8-10 minutes and drain.

Serve topped with the sweet potato, chunks of fetta, shaved parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. About 6 of these ravioli is enough for a good-sized serve. The fetta adds enough salt, I found. You could add ground black pepper, but don't kill the basil flavour!