Sifting the flour

Sifting the flour

Cheese filling

Cheese filling

Preparing the work surface

Preparing the work surface

Roll it and pat it...

Roll it and pat it…

Making tomato sauce

Making tomato sauce

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

So tonight wasn’t entirely about the food.  It was mostly about spending time with my amazing little girl.

She is at the age where she wants to help out with EVERYTHING.  Considering I have been excited about sharing one of my passions with her – cooking- for so long, I thought what better time to get her hands dirty.

She was involved with probably 85% of the process today.  I’ll share my recipe, so you can make homemade ravioli, too!

Start with 2 cups of sifted flour.  Add 1 egg and UP TO 3/4 cup of cold water (it changes based on environmental factors).  Oh yeah, and a teaspoon of salt.  She nailed all these steps, except I cracked the egg.  She sifted, stirred, and helped with the next step: kneading.  The dough should be tacky, but not sticky.  Knead for around five minutes.  When you’re done, roll it into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, you can start tomato sauce.  Personally, I think homemade is the way to go.  It’s easy and far superior tasting than anything you can buy in a jar.  Dice up tomatoes (yeah, she didn’t do any knife work — I keep REALLY sharp knives) and some onion.  I use about 4 medium tomatoes to serve two adults and a toddler.  Throw them in a skillet (I use cast iron) and let them cook down.  Stir every once in awhile, but let them get soft.  Some olive oil helps to keep them moist.  As they cook down, you can mash them up with your spatula.  Add some italian seasoning, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt & pepper…  just add until it tastes good.  Throw in some tomato paste for body towards the end.  Then just let it sit on low heat and move on to the next step.

We bought some ricotta cheese..  mixed in some garlic salt and some italian seasonings…  Filling is ready to go.  Easy cheesey.

After running around playing the freeze game, we grabbed our dough out of the fridge and started rolling it out.  No, you don’t have to have a pasta machine.  Flour your surface, roll it out pretty thin (1/8″ for ravioli), and you’re good.  She helped me do ALL of this!  She was fantastic!  Then, take your ricotta cheese and portion out little balls here and there on your noodle blanket.  Grab a pizza wheel (or a knife) and cut into squares.  Wrap them up, use a fork to press them together, and set aside.

Boil some water, throw them in for 8 minutes, and you’ve got yourself some homemade ravioli.  I can’t give you a toddler to help you out, but I can promise a fantastic homemade dinner that took less than an hour to cook.  It’s better with a toddler to help.  We both had SO much fun.  “Daddy, I did it!  I did it!!!”  Yep.  Worth it.  I can’t wait to cook with her again!