delicious ravioli made with gluten-free flour
There is so much good food to discover and enjoy. A lifetime is not enough to fulfill this scope. If you make good food for others, they will love you. If you make good food for people who have serious intolerance problems – like gluten sensitive or celiac- they will love you even more.
In fact – probably more than others – they know that having good, fresh, healthy food is a privilege, something to treasure and respect every day.
When I first wrote this article, over 3 years ago, I had lots of digestive issues but I did not know I was gluten intolerant. I made these for someone who wanted to attend to one of my cooking classes and watch others making ravioli without being able to eat them. “No my dear – I said – you also must eat”.
Years later and after a lot of pondering, mistakes and experiments, I have come to accept that I’m among the many that can’t eat wheat anymore. It’s OK really, there’s lots of wonderful food to be had.
Now that I start to know a new way of cooking – gluten free cooking – I can have as much pasta as I want, just like before. And make it for others. And that’s the best.
- 100 gr (3 and 1/2 oz) gluten-free flour
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon hot water
for the filling
- 120 gr. (4 oz) spinach or swiss chard
- 60 gr (2 oz) ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan or pecorino
For the filling, blanch spinach or other leaf vegetables in boiling water for 3 min. Drain. Cool under cold water and squeeze very dry. Chop greens finely and transfer to a bowl. Mix in ricotta and grated cheese.
For the dough, use a commercial GF flour or my pasta dough flour mix
You can make gluten-free pasta using approximately the same method of fresh regular pasta (please see pictures here and a video here). The main difference is that the dough is soft, tears easily and dries very fast so you need to speed up the whole process.
Not only do you need to roll the dough quickly, you must keep the sheets a little thicker than those made with regular wheat dough. If the pasta sheet is too thin it will tear. When the sheets are ready, make the ravioli as soon as possible. If they dry you will not be able to seal them properly
In a food processor blend the flour, oil and egg until the mixture just begins to form a ball. Depending on the size of the egg, it might be necessary to add a little hot water in order to obtain a soft but not sticky dough.
Set the rollers of a pasta machine on the widest setting. Transfer the dough onto a worktop but keep it covered under a plastic bowl. Cut a golf-ball size piece of dough and flatten it quickly into a square with a rolling pin. Feed it through the rollers. Fold the square in half and feed it through the rollers again to give it a regular shape.
Each time you fold it, dust with rice flour to prevent sticking. Don’t overwork it or it will start breaking apart.
Turn dial down to an intermediate (narrower) setting, dust with rice flour and feed the dough through rollers without folding. See details on how to do with the machine settings in the pasta dough article.
Turn the dial one last time, reducing the space between the rollers until the second to the last of the narrowest settings. Roll one last time.
Cover the sheets with a cotton tea-towel to prevent drying. Arrange a sheet of pasta on a large wooden board. Place teaspoons of the filling about 5 cm (2 inches) apart on the sheet so that you can make a “parcel” by folding it over.
spoon filling on the pasta sheets, make sure to leave enough space to seal
Using a pasta cutter seal each parcel by cutting on three sides (the fourth is the fold). Dust a large tray or your worktop with flour and carefully place the ravioli on it taking care that they do not overlap.
a zig-zag cutter is essential to seal the ravioli
Cook in salted, boiling water until al dente, 1 min. Drain and toss ravioli with butter and lemon or a tomato sauce. Distribute onto 2 plates, top with grated Parmesan (or pecorino) if desired and drizzle with a fruity extra virgin olive oil.