Sunday, 11 May 2008

Weekend Herb Blogging - Oregano Ravioli

The oregano is up in my small, Canadian garden and I am inspired by the lovely Kalyn at Kayln's Kitchen to create a meal to showcase this beautiful herb. I love it's grassy, floral quality and quite often use it in a fresh in a salad or dry it for more savoury applications. The flavour of oregano when fresh is milder than dried - it's more popular form.
This week's Weekend Herb Blogging Round-up is hosted by Laurie from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska. Check out her site to discover some yummy dishes starring herbs!

Oregano Ravioli
My oregano ravioli is not stuffed with oregano, the fresh herb is worked right into the pasta. This will work for other herbs as well, just use less herbs for stronger tasting herbs and far less for dried.

Filling -
2 (1lb.) medium russet potatoes, peeled, cubed and cooked until tender. Mash fine or press through potato ricer.
1 cup shredded cheese, I used cheddar for this batch
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, grated fine on Microplane
pinch salt and black pepper to taste
Combine in a bowl, cover and set aside while you make the pasta.

Pasta -
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (or as needed)
3 large eggs
2 tbsp milk, water or cream (or as needed)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup loosely packed fresh oregano
The measure of flour and liquid will depend on the type of flour you use and the humidity, so be prepared to adjust to get the right texture.
Combine in a stand mixer with dough hook or by hand until you have a raggedy ball. Turn out onto counter and knead until you have a smooth, leathery ball. Cut into 6 pieces and roll out into thick lasagna noodles with pasta roller.

Create ravioli - I use a press but you could do them free form as well. Put a spoonful of filling in the center of pasta, brush beaten egg around edges and place second sheet of pasta on top. You should be able to do 8-12 per sheet, depending on how large you make them. Press out any air pockets and seal edges firmly with your finger tips. Use a pastry wheel or pizza cutter to separate ravioli.

Dust with a little more flour and let dry on counter 1/2 hour before cooking.
Simmer in gently boiling water or chicken stock until al dente. The ravioli pictured is served topped with grilled chicken and garnished with a sprig of fresh oregano.
Wikipedia -
Oregano's name is derived from the Greek origanon ὀρίγανον oros ὄρος "mountain" + the verb ganousthai γανοῦσθαι "delight in". Oregano is high in antioxidant activity, due to a high content of phenolic acids and flavonoids Additionally, oregano has demonstrated antimicrobial activity against food-borne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes.

Take a look at the Weekend Herb Blogging round up to see what else is cooking!