Next time you have some leftover ham make a batch of ham and cheese ravioli. The pasta is really not difficult to make fresh and you can make a ton and freeze some for a later date. I have actually made these from a ham hock that I slowly cooked and mixed with grated pear, ricotta, mascarpone and Swiss cheeses. I cooked the ravioli and just tossed in some great extra virgin olive oil and some spring onions. Simple but dynamite!
You will need:
- 3 cups flour
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp water only if necessary
- 2 cups chopped cooked ham
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/3 cup chopped Swiss cheese
- 3 heaped tbsp ricotta cheese
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small pear - grated
- 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil to saute
- chopped spring onions/scallions
- salt and pepper
- optional: shaved Parmesano Reggiano
I used a ham hock which I cooked for ages however, you can simply use some chopped ham if you prefer or are pressed for time. I took the ham hock and cooked it slowly in a large pot of water. The water just covered the ham and I included a few bay leaves, 2 chopped carrots, a few cloves and a few peppercorns. I cooked the ham hock (knuckle) for 3 hours on low and then let it cool. I removed the skin and any fat.
At this stage in a food processor I pureed: 3 cloves garlic, 1 onion, 2 green onions, a handful of parsley, some fresh thyme, a fresh red chili, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp of each - salt and pepper, 1/4 cup fresh chopped pineapple and 1 tsp jerk seasoning. I covered the ham with my puree and roasted in a 375 degree F oven for 2 hours more.
Finally, I took the ham hock and all its juices and covered it about halfway up the hock with water and once again let it slowly cook on the stove covered and on low heat for another 2 hours until it was falling off the bone. This is a tough piece of meat but, if you cook it slowly it will get as tender and actually more delicious than some hams you can buy.
Hey!!! I get it, most people can't be bothered because this just takes too long that is why I have also suggested you can use good quality ham and still get a great product. I am just sharing another way.
Step 1: make your pasta. I use a food processor for great results. Place all ingredients except water in processor and mix for 10-15 seconds. If it doesn't start to form a ball it will need the additional water. Re-start the machine and let it run for approximately 30 seconds and it should form a ball and almost stop the machine. Take out dough and with a bit of additional flour knead a few times on the counter. You should have a lovely soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes before rolling out.
Step 2: Make your filling. Take your chopped ham (buy the best quality ham you can find for optimum flavour and texture - you can even use good quality sliced deli hams here), mascarpone cheese, Swiss cheese, ricotta cheese, chopped parsley, salt and pepper and grated pear. Mix and taste it to make sure it is not bland. If you need to adjust your seasoning do it.
Step 3: cut dough into 8 equal pieces. I cut in half and then keep cutting each in half until I get 8 even pieces. Make sure you have lots of flour to avoid pasta from sticking to machine and also counter. I run through my pasta roller attachment on my kitchenaid machine until I get to about #5. I don't want the dough too thin so the filling comes out. I work with 1 sheet at a time and keep the other pieces of dough covered with plastic wrap while I am filling the one I have. I simply cut squares and add a tsp of filling to each square, then dip my finger in water and run water along 2 edges of square, then fold and seal by pinching together. You can cut them with a cutter if you prefer this is just fast for me.
Place finished ravioli on a floured baking sheet. Repeat until finished.
If you want to freeze them at this stage place separated ravioli in freezer and let get hard for 1 hour. Once frozen remove and place in Ziploc bag. When you want to cook them take them from frozen and right into boiling water to cook.
Step 4: in salted boiling water place a few ravioli and gently stir. Once they float to the top let them cook 2 minutes more.
Step 5: remove from water with a spider or slotted spoon and place into a hot pan with butter and olive oil
Step 6: gently cook on medium heat for another minute or two on each side. Add a sprinkle of spring onions and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with some chopped parsley and a shaving a Parmesano Reggiano.