Fresh Ravioli

Making pasta from scratch is a surefire way to boost your confidence in the kitchen. It's easy, but you feel cool because you MADE pasta. We had people over last night before heading downtown for VDay, and we couldn't resist slipping the accomplishment into more than one conversation...

Oh hey, are you hungry? Because we made some ravioli from scratch, if you want some. Yeah, no biggie. No, we don't have a pasta machine, we just rolled out the dough. What's that? Better than Mario Battali's? Haha, you're too kind.

Maybe not quite. But still -- homemade pasta tastes delicious, and requires only a few simple steps: Mix eggs and flour, roll and cut. The dough is extremely workable, and there is no waiting time. We found both our dough and filling recipes from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, and prepared the filling in advance. Next time we will probably try to roll the dough a bit thinner, but overall we are proud of a successful first attempt!

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
6 eggs
water, as needed
2 cups baked sweet potato
2 eggs
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar
1/2 grated parmesan cheese

To make filling, mash the baked potato in a small bowl. Add nutmeg, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in eggs and cheese, and set aside. To make pasta dough, pile flour in a large bowl, and make a hole in the middle. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring in completely with a fork before adding the next one. Add about a tsp of water at a time until the dough comes together into a ball. Knead for about two minutes, until smooth, then divide dough into 6 equal chunks. On a lightly floured surface, roll out two chunks dough as thinly as possible. Scoop teaspoonfuls of filling onto one of the dough sheets, about 2 inches apart. Brush water in between the filling to make sticky, then place the other dough sheet on top. Press down around filling, and cut ravioli. Repeat until you've used up your dough, then cook ravioli in boiling water for about 12 minutes, until pasta is soft and cooked.