Gastronaut Files: Perfecting Ravioli
"Ravioli should be tender, but not wimpy," says Domenica Marchetti. She is known for easy-to-follow, reliably delicious Italian recipes, like those in her cookbook Big Night In. In her next collection, The Glorious Pastas of Italy, she offers a dozen ravioli made with the dough she uses here.
Marchetti knows pasta: Although she grew up in New Jersey, her mother is from Abruzzo, the Italian region that's famed for its pasta. For years, her mother insisted on preparing the dough entirely by hand. But Marchetti, who suffers from repetitive-stress injuries, uses a food processor to help speed things along.
After rolling out the dough with an old-fashioned Atlas machine, Marchetti tests the pasta sheets by holding her hand up behind one. If she can see a shadow, the sheets are the right thickness to stuff. "The dough should be thin, but still have substance and texture," she says. Here, she shares her fail-safe dough recipe, plus three simple fillings.