Squid Ink Ravioli with Roasted Eggplant Filling and Pesto

These are light, delicate pillows of devilish goodness. With a smoky filling and herbed pesto the striped pasta is fun to make and even better to eat.
By Linda Schneider

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You might be thinking, who has time to make homemade pasta in this crazy, fast-paced world we live in? Let alone, a labor-intensive striped pasta (that must be made by hand, there’s no other way that I’m aware of). Why bother, when you can go to the freezer section of your local grocery store and buy pre-made ravioli?

Oh, but this isn’t any old ravioli. These are light, delicate pillows of devilish goodness.

Moreover, these ravioli are not that hard to make, just a bit time consuming. For me, they are a bit of an [art] project, that is, a deliciously, edible art project. Besides, I find rolling pasta to be soothing.

I love the whole process, from kneading the dough, to forming the sheets, to piping the filling, and forming the ravioli. Even more fun, if you pour yourself a glass of wine and turn up the music while doing so.

Added bonus — you can make a bunch of ravioli and freeze them. You don’t even need to defrost before cooking, just pop them straight from the freezer into a pot of [salted] boiling water and the ravioli will cook within minutes.

If you are looking to save time you can skip the squid ink. If you can’t find squid ink, you could use beets, spinach, etc., to make different colored pastas. However, for those of you who are curious, this is how I made the striped pasta sheets for my ravioli…

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1. Roll out a sheet of yellow pasta (the pasta will be thick at this point, roll to the second thickest setting on your pasta machine).

2. Roll out a sheet of squid ink pasta (second thickest setting) and cut into strips (as shown below).

3. Lightly spritz the yellow sheet with water and evenly space out the squid ink strips on top of the yellow pasta sheet. Gently press down so the strips stay in place.

4. Carefully run the pasta through your pasta machine to the thinnest setting. You want the sheets as thin as possible for ravioli. You may need to trim the pasta with a knife if the sheet gets too wide to run through your machine.

5. Cut into rounds. Work quickly and keep any pasta you’re not working with covered in plastic to prevent it from drying out.

6. Pipe the filling in the center of the pasta rounds. Lightly spritz with water and seal the edges of the pasta (making sure to press out any air pockets before sealing).

7. At this point, the ravioli are ready for a quick dip in boiling salted water. Or, you can freeze them for a later date. If you opt to freeze, spread the ravioli out in a single layer and place in the freezer for an hour or so. Thereafter, portion and place in ziplock bags, and store in the freezer — and enjoy at your convenience.

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The filling is what makes this dish sing. It’s a smoky eggplant filling. Made a version of this when I was at the Dublin Cookery School in Ireland earlier this year. Have been thinking about it ever since.

Was fortunate to spend a week with the talented Matt Sigler [formerly of Flour and Water in San Francisco, CA] making pasta, among a slue of other things, to include head cheese :-). It was one of the best (and most delicious) weeks I can remember having in a long time.

The eggplant were roasted until charred on the outside and tender and smoky on the inside, as if you were making make baba ghanoush, Next, I mixed in cheese, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and sea salt, and processed (food processor) until smooth.

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To finish the dish…I added pesto, cherry tomatoes, shaved Parmesan, toasted pinenuts, and lemon zest.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Squid Ink Ravioli with Roasted Eggplant Filling and Pesto
 
These are light, delicate pillows of devilish goodness. With a smoky filling and herbed pesto the striped pasta is fun to make and even better to eat.
Author:
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 5-6 ravioli per serving as a first course
Ingredients
Pasta
For the yellow pasta:
  • 1 cup 00 flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 whole egg
  • ½ teaspoon milk
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • Squid ink pasta
For the squid ink pasta:
  • 1 cup 00 flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 whole egg
  • ½ teaspoon milk
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 packets squid ink (like this); 0.14 ounces each
  • pinch of salt
Smoked Eggplant Ravioli
  • 2 pounds eggplant
  • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 1 ounce Parmesan
  • Juice and zest of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
To Serve
  • Smoked Eggplant Ravioli
  • Smoked cherry tomatoes (4-5 minutes in stovetop smoker with cherry wood), halved
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Basil pesto
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • grated lemon zest
  • toasted pine nuts (optional)
Instructions
Pasta
  1. Add the flour, egg yolk, whole egg, milk, olive oil, squid ink, and salt to your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix until the dough forms a shaggy ball. Lightly flour your work surface and dump the dough mixture on to your work surface. Knead the dough several minutes until the dough comes together. Wrap in plastic and let rest at least 1 hour.
  2. See photos and instructions above for forming the striped pasta sheets.
Smoked Eggplant Ravioli
  1. Prick each eggplant with a fork a few times. Place eggplants over the flame of a gas stove top. Turn the eggplants from time to time with metal tongs, until the skin is completely charred and the flesh is very soft, about 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, grill the eggplant over a charcoal grill or grill pan.
  2. When cool enough to handle, cut the eggplant in half and scoop out the flesh, making sure not to incorporate any charred bits. Place the eggplant flesh over a colander to drain.
  3. Add the eggplant, along with the mozzarella, Parmesan, lemon juice, red chile flakes, and salt to a food processor. Pulse a few times, until it forms a smooth puree (don't overmix). Transfer the filling to a piping bag.
  4. See instructions above for forming the striped pasta sheets.
To Serve
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the ravioli for ~2 minutes.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan over high heat. Add a little pasta water and a splash or two of olive oil to the pan. Add the tomatoes and a generous spoonful of pesto to the pan. With a slotted spoon, transfer the ravioli to the pan, shaking the pan to prevent the ravioli from sticking. Cook a minute or two, until the sauce is thick and reduced. Taste and season with salt. Serve hot with shaved Parmesan, grated lemon zest, and toasted pine nuts (optional).

 

Linda Schneider

Linda Schneider is the blogger behind Wild Greens and Sardines, an homage to her love for all things food and [Mediterranean] travel. What she enjoys most is seasonal, farm-to-table recipes that highlight local ingredients, farmers, and food artisans. She loves going to local farmers’ markets, seeing what’s in season, and sharing recipes with others.

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