This recipe from The at Home Gourmet caught my eye because I enjoy all forms of pasta, and love new ways to use ground meat. It reminded me of a cross between samosas and kreplach, so I set out to see if it was any good.
chopped beef or turkey (I used beef)
I normally have all of these things on hand, so found it easy to simply dive in. One of the things I like about this cookbook is that many of the recipes use things I already have and do not require multiple trips to specialty stores.
First I made the dough. While the instructions say to use a fork to mash everything together I quickly found this was slow and not very effective. I found clean hands worked far better to get everything into a good dough ball quickly. I used a fairly large amount of flour while rolling out and cutting the circles. The dough was not very easy to roll with my roller unless it was very well floured.
The spice mixture for the meat smelled wonderful while cooking. It was quick and easy to make the filling. No complaints there. Once I starting filling I quickly realized I had more dough than filling. Luckily there are instructions for freezing the dough and I can report that this does in fact work well (I filled them with a potato mixture a few days later). While filling small food items like ravioli is always tedious, and I could never get as much filling as I would like into each circle without risking overstuffing, I did not have any difficulty sealing the circles and they actually stayed shut during frying. That was a serious accomplishment and following the directions and pressing with a fork around the edges was key to keeping things together.
My one complaint was that I had a tough time getting the edges to fry evenly as they are always a little above the oil line unless you stand the ravioli on its side. While this might have been solved by adding more oil, the recipe calls for pan frying, not deep frying and I hate to waste that much oil on one recipe.
Mine came out slightly darker than those photographed in the cookbook, but the overall result was pretty similar. They also tasted great, although they are very heavy (what fired food isn’t?). This is not going to taste like a pasta ravioli you typically order in a restaurant. It is fried, so there is more crisp than toothsome, soft pasta dough yet less crisp than an eggroll. The ravioli do not do that well on reheating and should be eaten fresh.