by Karen Swan
As most people with coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance, I realised I could quite happily get by with many of the foods that I ate prior to diagnosis. Those that I couldn’t buy or make decent replicas of, I just filed away in the ”Oh well, life without crusty on the outside, fluffy on the inside white bread straight out of the oven and slathered in butter and peanut butter won’t be so bad” section of my brain.
But you know what? There are days when all you want is that comfort food from your past and fresh pasta, ravioli in particular was a food that I really, really missed. My son is 4 and is in that phase of eating nothing but plain pasta and olive oil or, as we call it, ‘pillow pasta’. I virtually have to sit on my hands to stop myself shoving the little pillows into my mouth as I watch him eat.
You know when you can just ‘tell’ that a recipe is going to work? This is one of them. Never, in all my attempts at re-creating gluten free versions of flour based baked goods have I ‘felt’ the right texture in the dough as I kneaded it. Actually, now I think of it, most GF breads etc that I’ve made haven’t required kneading at all and in all honesty I think that takes away some of the pleasure and control over the end result.
This recipe isn’t something that you whip up quickly. It’s something you take the time to make and to enjoy the process. I can’t tell you how bloomin’ great it felt to roll out dough to a mere few milimetres thickness without a tear and to feel the dough stretch and retract as I rolled. It might sound like I’m making a big deal about the ‘feel’ of the dough, but after years of sticky or crumbly gluten free dough and pastry, it is a big deal when cooking GF feels ‘normal’ again.
You can use any filling you like for your ravioli; I think it’s hard to top the classic ricotta and herb filling for it’s simplicity.
I am thrilled with the results and cannot wait for my next pasta making session where I’m going to do a batch of fresh gluten free fettucine to enjoy ‘Aglio e olio’ (garlic and olive oil).
I can’t wait to hear how you all go making this!
400g (2½ cups) Gluten Free Pastry Flour:
250mL (1 cup) Water
2 tablespoons (20 mL) Olive Oil
Pastry flour, extra to dust
500g ricotta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
60g baby spinach finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
Place Gluten Free pastry flour into a large bowl, make a well in the centre of the flour and add water, egg and oil. Mix with a wooden spoon until ingredients are combined.
Dust your bench, turn the mixture out and firmly knead the dough until smooth and elastic. If you’ve used other gluten free flours before you will immediately ‘feel’ the difference to the way this one kneads and becomes elastic.
Flour your workbench and roll out the dough to about 5mm thick. It rolls beautifully; stretching without tearing and it’s actually ‘springy’ something I haven’t experienced working with gluten free ingredients before.
Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Season to taste.
Using a round cookie cutter cut the dough.
Brush each round with egg or water and place about 1/2 a teaspoon of filling into the centre.
Fold the dough to a half circle and firmly press down the edges to enclose the filling.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil add a pinch of salt; add the pasta and cook till the ravioli floats to the top of the pot.
I was far too impatient to give these little gems a try, so cooked up a handful and ate them with a little olive oil. Should you have a touch more restraint than I, serve with a simple tomato sauce and more fresh basil.
I got just over 40 ravioli from about 2/3 of the dough and stopped because I ran out of cooking time! I have frozen the excess to make regular pasta with later. The leftover filling I made into this!
I added about a cup of chopped baby spinach, 6 eggs and a little more seasoning then topped with slices of tomatoes and sprinkled Parmesan cheese over the top. Baked in a hot oven for about 20 minutes.
You are an actual gluten free goddess. I can’t wait… it’s one of *those* things, that as a coeliac, I miss so, so much (diagnosed in May last year). Former favourite comfort food, and it’s actually going to happen again!!! Thank you SO much!
The first 12 months after diagnosis are hard as you adjust to a gluten free life aren’t they? (it’s everywhere isn’t it!). I’m so please you’re going to give the ravioli a go! All my recipes are gluten free, so there are literally hundreds in our archives for our Big Batch Baking Club members. Do let us know how you go with the pasta! Warmly, Karen
Just wondering if this would work without egg or can I substitute something? 🙁