Thursday, 9 December 2010


gluten-free egg-free ravioli
I was asked for a description of the ravioli I referred to in a previous post.  I hadn't yet written up how to make ravioli as I wasn't  satisfied with the texture.  Today I was feeling in need of some experimental therapy - I am supposed to be marking essays - so decided to have another go at the ravioli, altering the proportion of the flours I use.

When I used to make fresh pasta with wheat flour I had found that the more egg you used the more succulent the pasta was.  I ended up using Jamie Oliver's recipe rather than Nigella Lawson's.  Up until now I have always used egg when I have made pasta.  However, I realised I had run out of pasta and I was waiting in for a courier so couldn't nip out and get any.

I made some of the tapioca gel I have used in the past when leaving egg out of recipe.  I took 5g of tapioca flour and stirred it into 50ml of cold water, and then cooked it, stirring continuously, until it was a clear gel.
tapioca gel

 I let this cool a bit while I weighed out 50g of urid lentil flour and 60g of tapioca flour, and then I squidged the flour into the gel.  I needed a bit more water to get a dough so just added some until the dough held together nicely.
mix flour into gel

I mixed this thoroughly until the dough was soft and a bit stretchy. Start with a spoon but you will soon need to pulverise it with your hands. The gel is bouncy and resists the flour.  Once you get a smooth dough knead it until it is a bit stretchy. I just held it in both hands and pulled and folded and pulled and folded until I was happy with the texture.

I tried rolling this out but found that the dough tended to stick and then tear when I made ravioli the usual way.  It was much easier to make individual pockets of dough by squeezing a marble of dough in my hand until I had a thin disk, putting the filling in the middle, dampening the edges and then gently sealing them together.

I made a second batch and found that the easiest way to make the ravioli (sorry any Italians out there who think I am using the wrong word for the shape) was to dampen a piece of clingfilm / plastic wrap, place a marble of dough onto this, fold the cling film over and squeeze the dough into the desired shape.  Provided you don't get over excited and make it too thin this gives you a smooth circle of dough for your filling.  Keep the whole thing damp and it wont stick too much and it also means the dough sticks to itself when you press it around the filling.

ball of dough on damp cling film

press out a circle between two layers of damp film

place filling on circle

fold over cling film and use to press edges together

I cooked these for about eight minutes in boiling water.  The length of time you need will depend on how thin and large you make them just as with wheat pasta.

boil in water
These little pasta parcels had a smooth yielding texture and held the filling well.    Enjoy playing with fillings and sauces - the choices are endless.


I froze some of these ravioli and cooked from frozen.  They retain their shape and texture though the filling used went a little rubbery.  Pasta worked fine - need a different filling.

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