Tuesday 10 September 2013

Chicken Ravioli with Creamy Tomato and Capsicum Sauce

Its no secret that the man of the house cooks nearly all our evening meals. This is a fact that is often envied. I can't begin to imagine what it would be like to have to cook every single weekday meal. So as you can imagine, and without wanting to sound ungrateful, its actually a welcome treat to cook the evening meal. With my darling partner working late tonight it was time for a mother and daughter cooking session. We had chicken in the fridge and Little Miss 4, as usual, wanted pasta. Not content to settle for the usual penne with chunks of chicken, we got the pasta maker out and got ambitious.

This recipe makes enough pasta dough for ravioli for 2 people and 2 servings of fettuccine for later.
If you want to make enough Ravioli for 4 people, just double the amount of filling and sauce you make. 

Chicken Ravioli with Creamy Tomato and Capsicum Sauce

Make the pasta dough first. Then wrap it and let it rest while preparing the filling and sauce. 
Pasta Dough
200g strong flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 medium sized eggs
2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons olive oil

The traditional way to make a pasta dough is to mix it by hand. With little time on a week night, I opted for the mechanical option. Place the flour and salt into the mixer bowl. Make a well in the centre and place the remaining ingredients in.

Using the dough hook attachments, mix at low speed until the dough comes together into a soft ball. Mix for a few minutes longer in order to knead the dough. It should be soft and elastic. If its sticky you may need to add more flour. Wrap the dough and put aside.
Chicken Ravioli Filling

a handful of parsley
half an onion
1 clove garlic - peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
ground pepper
3 chicken tenderloins or equivalent of another chicken cut
3 to 4 tablespoons cream
Using a food processor, blend all the ingredients except the cream. Once the mixture is sufficiently minced, add the cream and blend again.
Assemble the Ravioli: Using a pasta machine roll half the pasta dough at a time. Start on the thickest setting - usually 1, and work down towards about 8. This is not the lowest setting, as too thinner pasta will rip once filled.
Flour the bench well and lay the pasta down. Place teaspoon lots of filling onto half the pasta sheet, leaving about 2cm in between in order to seal the ravioli. Use a pastry brush and water to brush in between the filling - this will help to seal the pasta parcels.
Fold the pasta sheet over and push the top sheet down to enclose the filling. I used a zig-zag roller to cut in between the ravioli, but an ordinary knife will do.

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. While your waiting for it to boil prepare the sauce.

Creamy Tomato and Capsicum Sauce

1/2 onion - cut across the grain into half round slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sliced capsicum - I used char grilled canned, as fresh is very expensive at this time of year
1 tablespoon pickled capers
1 tomato - cut concasse (small dice)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup cream
Grated Parmesan to serve
Using a large fry pan, saute the onion in the olive oil until soft. Add the diced capsicum, capers and sugar. Cook for a few minutes. Add the cream and simmer until the cream starts to thicken. Add the tomatoes, warm through and season to taste.
Assemble the dish: Once the water has begun to gently boil, add the ravioli. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes until cooked. The ravioli will all float to the surface once cooked and the pasta will be firm. Don't rapid boil or all your hard work will disintegrate in the pot!
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pasta into the fry pan of sauce. Gently toss and serve immediately topped with grated Parmesan.

Slightly ambitious for a week night, and getting later than is ideal for dinner. Little Miss 4 loved her pasta; but most of all she loved helping to make it.

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