Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Homemade Raviolis

This summer I intended to plant spinach, a lot of spinach.  However, after placing my seed order I was informed that they were all out of the spinach seeds I wanted so I quickly chose another leafy-green plant.  I settled on Japanese Mustard Spinach because I read that it does well in dry weather and is rather hardy.  Mustard Spinach is not a mustard, nor a spinach, it is actually part of the same family as broccoli.  So it has different nutrients but is still very good for you and you can use it and cook it just like you would spinach.  

I ordered 3 packets of seeds because I was certain there was no such thing as too many greens.  Well after a month of eating salads, sides, and basically trying to incorporate Mustard Spinach into every meal as much as possible I was over it.  Unfortunately I had planted 3 rows of this stuff and it was doing incredibly well. 

1 of 3 rows of Mustard Spinach

I also planted a few rows of mixed salad greens that I needed to start eating sooo yeah I needed to get rid of this stuff.

row of salad greens calling my name...

I mean I didn't want to get rid of it completely, I just wanted to be able to cut all the plants down to a couple small leaves so that I could have a little break.  I also didn't want to waste all the leaves that I was cutting down.  So I decided to make Mustard Spinach and Mushroom Raviolis that I could freeze for later.  

Here's how I made them...

...and I fully apologize for this crazy explanation and lack of "recipe".  Truth is I have a hard time following and creating recipes.  I get bored when cooking and want to experiment and create and forget to write things down, but it normally works out in the end.  

First you need to make some pasta dough and this I actually did use a recipe for.  I used one from the Better Homes and Garden cook book.  The only thing I changed with this recipe is that I used whole wheat flour and honestly you can use any old pasta dough recipe you want.  They will all work.  

So first make some pasta dough, set it aside to rest, then on to the filling, which is the fun part.

Here's what went into the filling:

all the Mustard Spinach leaves I had that looked good
a handful of parsley
a handful of oregano 
a bag full of mushrooms
3 handfuls of shredded cheese
garlic powder
onion salt

There's really no wrong way to make the filling.  Just throw in whatever tastes good to you.  

I put everything except the cheese in the food processor, cooked it all together, then set it aside to cool.

Once it had cooled down quite a bit I added the shredded cheese.

Now you are ready to start assembling some raviolis.  I separated my pasta dough into small batches and started rolling it out into thin sheets.  How thin is up to you and your muscles.  I really need to buy the pasta attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer, because I do not have the arm strength for this nonsense. 

Once I had it rolled out I placed teaspoon size blobs of filling all over my dough.  I then laid another sheet of dough on top and stamped out each ravioli with this handy ravioli stamp.  You can find a similar one here.

getting a little more efficient at my stamping...

Once your raviolis are stamped out they are ready to cook or freeze.  I made enough for 5 nights of dinner and stored each night separately in a freezer bag.  I did have some filling left over but I was too tired to make any more raviolis.  I separated this filling into a couple different freezer bags and intend on making stuffed chicken with it.

Of course I had to cook up a few for lunch that day and they were delicious and so worth the work.