Friday, March 27, 2009

Gluten Free Ravioli

Last night I made gluten free ravioli from scratch. After seeing the price for frozen GF ravioli in the store, I thought I would try to do my own.

I used a recipe from the book, "Wheat-Free Recipes & Menus" by Carol Fenster, Ph.D. The pasta recipe calls for 2 eggs, 1/4 cup water, 1 T canola oil, 1/2 cup each of brown rice or sorghum flour, tapioca flour, cornstarch, 1/4 cup potato starch, 4 tsp. xanthan gum, 1 tsp. gelatin powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt. You put the liquid in the the food processor, mix together, add the rest, process until it becomes a ball, break it up and process it again.

I bought a ravioli frame in the hopes that the gluten free pasta flour would hold together well enough for it to work. I have to say, the hardest part about this whole thing was rolling out the dough thinly. Not because, as with other gluten free doughs, it would crumble apart, but because there's so much xanthan gum in this recipe that the dough is very tough and doesn't want to stretch out! I will have to experiment with the amount of xanthan gum, and also the different kinds of flours. I'd like to try corn flour, maybe instead of the potato startch. I like some of the commercially available GF pasta that is made with corn flour.

Once you roll out the dough, you put it over the ravioli frame. There's a plastic piece that you press into the dough to indent it down into the circles. Then you fill the circles with your filling. I used ricotta, mozarella, and romano cheeses, with an egg yolk and italian spices mixed in. You mix an egg white with water and paint the edges of your ravioli, so that when you put the top layer on it will stick.

Then you roll out a second sheet to put on top
of the first. Press around the frames to seal, and
then use your rolling pin to cut the raviolis out.

It didn't say to do so in the recipe, but I let the raviolis sit and dry a bit on the counter. I know you do that with regular pasta, and I wanted to make sure the egg white seal got nice and dry before I popped these guys into water.

After they dried for about an hour, I decided to freeze some of them for later. I put them on a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet and popped them in the freezer until they were hard, then I transferred them to a zip loc bag.

I decided to use a shallow saucepan to boil the remaining ravioli. I wanted to get them to a gentle simmer, in the hopes that they wouldn't break apart. As with most gluten free doughs, I saw a few cracks as they were being pushed into shape. I wiped a bit of egg white liquid on the cracks.

The pasta recipe says to simmer for 5 minutes, but since these guys had some filling in them, and they are pretty large, I let them go for 8.

I didn't tell Daniel ahead of time that I was going to do this, just in case they fell apart & were a total failure. I cooked non gf ravioli for the other kids, and put everything out on the plates. When Daniel saw his plate, his eyes widened. "Are these really for me?" he asked. He started wolfing them down before testing his blood sugar! I made him stop and test.

"I didn't even realize how much I missed ravioli," he said. He ate 12 of these guys. I estimated that they were 8 carbs per ravioli. He absolutely loved them, and I'm so glad.

What would I do differently? First of all, I think I'm going to scour ebay for a hand crank pasta machine. I took a bite of the ravioli and think that it would benefit from dough that is rolled a bit thinner. But I couldn't get it any thinner by hand, it was just too hard to roll. Using a pasta machine would help.

Also, after the dough is processed and in a ball, I would break it into 6 or 7 pieces, wrap them, and put them aside. The dough that remained in the processor while the rest was being rolled dried out very quickly. I had to re-process with a bit of liquid to get it rollable again.

As I said before, I'll also experiment with different flour combinations. And different fillings! But on the whole, I was very pleased with this cooking experiment, and am glad that I don't have to spend the $8.00 on the very small bag of frozen ravioli!


Colleen said...

You're a cool mom! I'm glad Daniel liked his ravioli.

FeltFinland said...

Those look great!