Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gluten-Free Ravioli? More fun in the kitchen...Dec. 09 '09

Haven't been good about being timely in posting stuff up. I'm supposed to be working on a project for which I have two weeks to finish. Something is always coming up. Here's one of the things that keeps coming up. I neglect to admit that I just keep getting distracted and my project is stressing me out and I just can't focus when I'm under pressure, and....

So I went a little too overboard on but couldn't help pass this up...a real, authentic ravioli maker! It wasn't that cheap, but it all worked out and I'm a happy camper 'cause when I got it in the mail today, I found it to be an Italian product (sick of buying things made in P.R.O.C) and well-constructed.

Well, I don't get too excited about gluten-free foods anymore because what I'm savoring in my mind is often disappointed by my tastebuds. If you recently had to go gluten-free, then you will surely understand. But I do get excited for challenges in the kitchen. Turned out that the end result exceeded my (non)expectations.

The above photo represents the finished product with our Garlic Cashew Creme Sauce, some Marinara we canned from Big Lick Farm's delicious organic and heirloom tomatoes, and fresh parsley. How do I get these pictures bigger? Here's one last try...

Hope that photo helps a bit. Anyway, Brian made a Mushroom and Spinach Duxelle for the filling. So after formulating a recipe for the dough, I rolled it out on my handy-dandy ravioli maker to be quite thin. A bit hard to work with because there's no elasticity as with wheat flour, so it does need to be handled gently so that it doesn't tear. Filled the pockets with the Duxelle and put the second layer over. Also tricky to try to seal it with the roller. I think I might have over-filled them, so I'll keep practicing to get it right.

The raviolis held up very well in the pot of boiling water. I really was expecting them to explode but they didn't. After initially dropping them in the water that was at a rolling boil, I turned down the heat a bit so that the bubbles weren't so violent in the pot, just a low rolling boil. Continued that for about 5 minutes and then gently lifted each one out with a spoon-type strainer. I still wasn't taking any chances at having an explosion happen.

My tastebuds are happy, but I'll keep experimenting and having fun with my ravioli maker. I'm thinking of making a Butternut squash filling on the next try. Also, I'll try replacing the white rice flour with brown rice flour to make it healthier. Hope you try it out too and have fun while you're at it!

Gluten-Free and Vegan Pasta Dough

2/3 cup tapioca flour
2/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup white rice flour
¼ cup potato starch
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup water

Combine flours and starches, sea salt and xanthan gum. Add the olive oil and water, a little at a time. Mix with a spoon. You will want to have a pliable dough that is not sticky. If it is sticky, add white rice flour a little at a time, or if too dry add water a tablespoon at a time.