White Bean Ravioli

I enjoy making pasta by hand, but I don’t do it that frequently. To me it is only worthwhile when I’m filling the pasta with something interesting – the difference between the flavor of the $2 boxed fettucine and my hand cut fettucine is just not worth the time, but the difference between the flavor of pre-packaged tortellini and homemade ones is well worthwhile. When I do break out the pasta roller for ravioli, I tend to make a lot at once and throw a few meals worth in the freezer. It even goes by pretty quickly with help from a friend who’s willing to work for his dinner.
White Bean Ravioli

White Bean Ravioli

White Bean Ravioli

Makes about 4 servings

For the pasta:

  • 1/2 c. semolina flour
  • 1/2 c. AP flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBS warm water
  • 1/2 TBS olive oil

For the filling:

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh sage
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 c. Great Northern beans, cooked (from 1/3 dried beans, soaked and cooked)
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper

For the broth:

  • 6 c. cold water
  • 1 onion, chunked roughly
  • 1 stalk celery, chunked roughly
  • 1 carrot, chunked roughly
  • 1 fennel bulb, chunked roughly
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 8 leaves fresh sage
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads
  • 2 3-inch strips of orange peel
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  1. Make the pasta dough: in a large bowl, whisk together the semolina flour, AP flour, and salt.  Make a well in the middle of the flour and crack egg into well.  Beat egg lightly in the well, then add water to the well.  Use a fork to slowly pull the flour on the outside into the wet center, trying not to disturb the well for as long as possible.  Continue doing this until the dough is an even consistency.  The dough will be fairly dry, but should stay together when pressed.  If it does not, add 1 TBS of water.  Pull dough together into a loose ball, drizzle with olive oil, then wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Make the filling: heat a medium pan over medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, and sage, and cook for 5-7 minutes, until beginning to brown.  Remove from heat and add to cooked beans, along with vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Mash the mixture with a potato masher until it is mostly smooth with a few bean chunks.
  3. Roll out the pasta according to pasta maker instructions, starting on the largest setting and working your way down.  Cut the resulting pasta sheets into 2-inch by 4-inch rectangles, and place a teaspoon of the bean filling on one side of each rectangle.   Use your pinkie finger dipped in cold water to brush the edges of the dough with water, then fold opposite side of dough over, pressing along edges to seal ravioli.  Work in batches – the dough will dry out quickly if it is left as sheets for long.  It will take longer to dry out when pressed in a ball.
  4. Make the broth: place all the ingredients in a large stockpot and cook at a simmer for 1 hour, adding 1-2 cups more water if necessary as the water evaporates.  Strain the broth through a colander, catching the broth in a bowl and discarding the cooked vegetables and herbs (or eating them).  Season the broth to taste and set aside.
  5. Cook the ravioli in a large pot of salted gently boiling water.  They should cook in approximately 2 minutes.  Serve ravioli in a warm bowl of broth, garnished with orange zest.

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