Vivi Mazarakis is the author of Forking DC. She previously wrote about Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle with Bourbon-Maple Whipped Cream, here.
Thanksgiving has come and gone, I’ve waded through Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails, and I still have leftover turkey in the fridge! There are only so many turkey sandwiches I can eat, so I turned to Italy for inspiration. The solution: ravioli. I know it sounds complicated, but it’s not. It’s so easy that I’m not writing out a structured recipe. After so much Thanksgiving planning and prepping, I think it’s nice to engage is some free-style cooking for a change. Below, I guide you through an easy way to make delicious ravioli.
In addition to your leftovers, the only other ingredients you will need are:
Pre-made pasta dough
Water or stock (any kind)
Seasonings like salt, pepper, and nutmeg
I used a food processor to blend equal parts turkey (white and dark meat) and corn dressing. Then I added a handful of grated Parmesan cheese, a dash of nutmeg, and a few slices of cranberry jelly (from a can, of course). For 12 ravioli, I only used a ½ cup of the corn dressing and 3 to 4 ounces of turkey.
Continues after the jump.
This is where you can really get creative and experiment with your own combinations. For example, you could combine turkey and any type of leftover dressing or, perhaps, turkey and sweet potatoes. You can deviate from the proportions so as to include more dressing/potatoes than turkey. If you’re vegetarian, you can skip the turkey altogether and mix a few side dishes together like sweet potato gratin and leftover dressing. The key here is to taste the filling to make sure it’s tasty enough that you’d be willing to skip the ravioli and simply eat it off the spoon. Don’t forget to season the mixture with salt and pepper. Once you’re pleased with the flavor, add an egg and mix until combined. The egg simply binds the mixture together.
You can certainly make your own pasta dough, but chances are that your local grocery store stocks pre-made pasta dough in its freezer aisle. The package I purchased contained lasagna strips measuring 5.5” x 15.” Lightly dust each side of the lasagna strip with flour. Cut each strip in half, lengthwise, and then cut each of the two strips into six squares. You should now have 12 squares (for the mathematically-challenged). Each square equals one ravioli.
Making the ravioli
Place about a teaspoon of filling on each pasta square. The important thing to remember is to not overstuff the ravioli. A little filling really does go a long way. Wet all four edges of the pasta with water and then fold in half diagonally so that you form a triangle. Press the edges together and finish off by crimping the three sides of the ravioli with the back of a fork. Place the formed ravioli onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper and dusted with flour or cornmeal. The flour and wax paper are there to prevent the ravioli from sticking.
Cooking the ravioli
Because I had leftover mushroom gravy, I thought it might be fun to dilute the gravy with additional vegetable stock and cook the ravioli in the gravy-broth. It worked fine, but I recommend using only stock, salted water, or a combination of the two to cook the ravioli. If you’ve made gravy before, you know that it contains flour (as a thickening agent). The extra starch in the water can cause the ravioli to be a little chewy. Don’t get me wrong; a little chewiness did not stop me from eating my (still) delicious ravioli. But this is an example of experimenting in the kitchen. Sometimes it produces great results. Sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, friends and significant others are there to eat your failed experiment and tell you it’s good.
For 12 ravioli, fill a large pot with water or your stock of choice. If you plan to make more than 12 ravioli, I recommend cooking them in batches so as to avoid crowding the pot. The ravioli only take a few minutes to cook. Once they start floating to the surface, they’re done.
While your ravioli are simmering away, heat about two tablespoons butter and a tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan. Transfer the cooked ravioli from the pot directly to the saucepan. Add some pasta water. Finish off with a little salt, plenty of ground pepper, and grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.