Hands-on Recipe: Hearty Cheesy Ravioli

Making homemade ravioli is hands-on family fun!

Making fresh pasta with family and friends is one of those kitchen memories you won’t ever forget.  In fact, Stacey spent an afternoon in the kitchen with her dad and sisters making fresh ravioli, and alas, another HealthBarn recipe was born!  Our Hearty Cheese Ravioli is the perfect hands-on recipe to get the whole family involved.  They are made with whole wheat flour for fiber and fresh herbs for flavor, not to mention a protein packed unique ingredient:  tofu in the filling.  They are nutritious, too.  Just one serving is a good source of calcium, vitamin A and an excellent way to boost iron, the mineral most kids don’t get enough of in their diets. Serve this recipe family style with your favorite natural marinara sauce, YUM!

Ingredients:

Dough:

¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
½ teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons water
2 large egg yolks
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

Filling:

1 cup silken light tofu
2 tablespoons part-skim ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped

To serve:

1 cup low-sodium marinara sauce

Directions:

  1. Work those muscles rolling out the dough.

    Prepare the dough:  In a large bowl, whisk together flours and sea salt.  Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and add water, egg yolks and olive oil to the well.  Use a fork to gently beat the egg and slowly incorporate the flour into the liquid.  Once the flour is incorporated, shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

  2. Prepare the filling:  In a small bowl, mix together tofu, ricotta, parmesan and black pepper.  Gently fold in basil.
  3. Assemble the ravioli:  Dust work surface with all-purpose flour.  Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half.  Using a floured rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a sheet, ¼ inch thick.  Lay out 1 sheet of dough on a cutting board.  Working on one half of the dough, spoon heaping tablespoons of tofu mixture onto dough, 1 inch apart.  Fold remaining dough half over tofu mixture and gently press with your fingers around the tofu to seal in the mixture and keep out air.
  4. The thumb makes for a good measuring tool.

    Using a glass with a 3 inch diameter dipped in flour, press into dough around the tofu mixture and twist back and forth to cut the ravioli free.  Repeat with remaining ravioli on that sheet.  Then, press a fork into the dough around the edges to seal the mixture.  Repeat steps 3 and 4 with remaining half of dough and tofu mixtures.  Set ravioli aside.

    Sealed and ready to cook.

  5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.  Drop ravioli, approximately 6 at a time, into the boiling water.  Cook for approximately 4 minutes or until ravioli float to the top.  Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large serving bowl.  Repeat with remaining ravioli.
  6. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat marinara sauce over medium heat until simmering, approximately 5-7 minutes.
  7. Kids can carefully cook with “some” adult supervision.

    As ravioli are cooked and added to serving bowl, top with layers of sauce to keep ravioli from sticking.  Top with remaining sauce and serve family style.

Makes 8 servings (2 ravioli plus 2 tablespoons sauce per serving).

Nutrition Facts per serving:   130 calories; 5g fat (1g sat fat, 3g mono, 1g poly, 0g trans fats); 50mg cholesterol; 16g carbohydrate (2g fiber, 1g sugar); 6g protein; 170mg sodium; 15% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 2% DV vitamin C; 15% DV calcium; 40% DV iron.

Make this delicious recipe the weekend family activity.  Did we get a thumbs up from you and your family?

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