Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ravioli Revisited: Ricotta and Currant Ravioli

Ricotta Currant Ravioli

While at work, I just came to realise that I have watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind quite a few times, many times, in fact. Maybe not as much as I have watched The Princess Bride or Dirty Dancing, but that is only because time has allowed that figure to accrue. Not that I would ever divulge how many times I’ve watched Dirty Dancing, it’s too embarrassing to recall and even you dear reader would be ashamed of this astronomical figure (I can just imagine all the men cringing at this thought). Don’t worry I can feel the collective shaking of heads right now. Let’s just say that one too many summers were spent at various friends’s air-conditioned houses watching these classic chick flicks. So probably not enough times to quote the scripts verbatim, however I do have to gag myself from sporadically blurting out my favourite lines to avoid threatening death glares from companion viewers.

I think what I liked about ESOTSM was the concept of the story and the effortless banter between the characters. I loved how it used the concept of memory and asked the question of what happens if your memory of an event were to be erased; if faced with the same set of situations could you expect a similar outcome? Anyway, I digress, is this not a food blog? I can just imagine some hapless internet surfer chancing upon this blog, thinking I just wanted to see me some food, what has this movie got to do with ravioli? Well nothing really, this is just one of my many habitual rants of the random persuasion.

Let’s just say, when I like a movie I like to revisit it, a lot and I think the same goes for food, especially with food that I make myself. If I have even an acute measure of success with a cooking venture, it is bound to be repeated and repeated until it can be repeated no more. Well I found out not too long ago that I really enjoy making fresh pasta. Although not all chronicled on this blog, my forays into pasta making have been profuse. Pasta-making has become like those ubiquitous reruns of The Sound of Music and Bewitched; it is guaranteed to be making an appearance somewhere near you.

Ricotta Currant Ravioli

This particular ravioli was inspired by Sydney gourmet pasta-makers Pastabilities. They give away samples of their ravioli at the Pyrmont Grower’s Market deep fried, not boiled, like how you would normally expect to see or eat ravioli. It is always a treat coming to their stall, squeezing through the throng of fellow tasters with the unyielding intent of trying one of their unique raviolis, deep-fried to a crisp. Then the ritual of puffing air at the piping hot ravioli’s begins. The things are virtually impossible to eat straight away whole, as the filling is scorching hot. My customary routine is to bite off part of the shell to expose the hot filling and then proceed to puff away at the thing until it has cooled just enough that it doesn’t burn the flesh off my tongue.

This deep-fried Ricotta and Currant Ravioli requires an accompanying disclaimer before you eat them. For one, they are very hot, and secondly they are incredibly addictive. I do urge you to make them, however I accept no responsibility for any injuries that occur while cooking and eating them. Once deep fried, the blistered exterior puffs up and transforms into a golden brown envelope. They are certainly cute to look at, but even better to eat. Now I understand how unpleasant it is to fry, let alone deep fry. I have already expressed my contempt for frying anything but make the exception with these things; they will be worth the blisters afterwards.

Ricotta and Currant Ravioli

Basic pasta recipe can be found over yonder.

350g fresh ricotta
3 tbsp icing sugar
½ cup currants
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
extra icing sugar, for dusting

To make filling, simply combine the following ingredients in a bowl and set aside in refrigerator for 30 minutes.


On a flour-dusted bench, lay you pasta sheets lengthways.Heap a good amount of filling onto the centre of each sheet at one end. Repeat this all the way along the sheet at 5cm intervals.
Using a pastry brush, dipped in a little water or egg wash, evenly brush the pasta around the mounds of filling.
Fold the pasta sheet over, covering the mounds until the two ends meet.Push out any air by cupping the filling and extracting the little air bubbles that form.
Using a knife, pizza cutter or crinkly cutter, trim the sides of the ravioli.

The pasta can now be deep fried immediately, or it can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for 4 weeks.


Use vegetable oil or a vegetable oil blend for frying.
For best results use a thermometer, temperature should be around the 180˚C mark.
If pasta is frozen, do not defrost before frying.
Ensure that the raviolis are tightly closed so they do not burst while frying.
Do not overcrowd the fryer, allow some room for the raviolis to move around.
The ravioli will only take 30 seconds or less to fry, as soon as they turn golden brown remove them from oil immediately.
Drain excess oil on a paper towel.
Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Ricotta Currant Ravioli


Bonnie said...

What a great analogy! A great recipe is like a great movie! You always notice more things the second time round. And don't be ashamed about the amount of times you've watched Dirty Dancing! I can definately recite it line for line if given half a chance...

Tanna said...

Holy Tamali! Beautiful. It would seem that this little gem will lend itself to many ________ where you currently have currents!!!

Natalia said...

I've only made sweet ravioli once, and I was very dissapointed with it. It was supposed to be chocolate, but the flavor wasn't there and it tasted like boiled dough, yuck. But these look wonderful! I can definitely imagine repeating them again and again. They sound delicious.

wheresmymind said...

We are making fresh pasta this weekend...first time for me! :D

Helen said...

Guess what I am doing right now :)...No, I am not drooling over the pictures, I am staring at my ricotta and my (hand rolled) pasta sheets, I had most everything on hand, so there you go, as soon as I read frying/pasta/ricotta...and iwas doing the happy (dirty) dance! I did not have currants, so I used homemade plum jam.
Princess Bride rocks!

Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

Ooh I agree. The crisp and golden-fried ravioli samples from Pastabilities are always a favourite.

These sound so delicious too.

Rachel said...

Exceptionally cute pasta!

lobstersquad said...

I ADORE that movie. and the princess bride, too. never had sweet ravioli, but I imagine they´d be up there with both

Mary said...

I love to eat deep fried foods, but I don't like to do the deep frying. Maybe you've inspired me to try it again.

:) Nobody puts baby in a corner.

jules said...

I love pastabilities too...every time I try one of their fried ravioli at the growers market I think I should give it a I definitely will...beautiful pics as always jenjen

Zarah Maria said...

OMG, Dirty Dancing, yes! And Grease, you must have watched Grease too! I sure did!

And deep fried sweet pasta? Oh sweet mama!

Helene said...

Allright Jen, I had to postpone the frying but I think I am going to go to Mary's so I can fry and we can eat!

"Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." :)

jenjen said...

Bonnie- I'm glad i'm not the only one!!

Tanna- oh yes the possibilities are endless!

Natalia- I have never tried to make a chocolate pasta dough just because it daunts me. Good on you for giving it a go!

wheresmymind- sounds great, I assure, you will have lots of fun. No matter how the pasta turns out, its just fun making it.

Helene- that plum jam sounds great and really different, I think I might give it a go sometime.

Helen (AG)- Pastabilities are one of the things I look forward to at the markets. They never disappoint.

Rachel- thanks! : )

Lobstersquad- I was never a sweet ravioli person until recently. I think it has to be done well or else it's a disaster.

I'm glad im not the only one who is a fan of these movies!

Mary- I don't think I have met anyone who likes to deep fry, butlike you said, everyone loves to eat deep fried foods. Although, I can make the exception sometimes.

LOL!!! I was so tempted to put some of my favourite lines in the post, but I would probably go too far!

Jules- definitely try their ravioli, they have awesome flavours. Their pasta has to be one of the best in Sydney, I think.

Zarah Maria- another fan, yay!

Helene- great, I can't wait to see how you go!!!

Ahhh the Princess Bride!! It is actually airing soon at work, I might go have a "break" soon : )

ann said...

i think my slovakian grandmother would stand in your kitchen, tapping her foot and shaking a finger at you saying "how dare you call those ravioli! they're pierogis!"
maybe she'd be wrong, but boy oh boy do those look like my favorite summer pierogis she would make, the filling all creamy farmers cheese and freshly picked blueberries
man, now i'm REALLY hungry!
good on yeh jenjen

keiko said...

Hi Jenjen - thank you for this inspiring recipe, the combination sounds intriguing and more than anything else, they look really delicious!