Ravioles

Ravioles

Boiled cheese-filled pasta

By
From
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Serves
6
Photographer
Alan Benson

It could well be that ravioles and kaloyrka are Venetian legacies to Cyprus from the Venetian occupation of the island (1489–1571). Then again, somewhat similar pasta dishes are to be found in Armenia, Iran and Afghanistan.

The origin of pasta is shrouded by history, but can be traced back to China. My money is on the Mongol influence (in the 13th and 14th centuries), which could have filtered down from Persia or the Caucasus. The name, ravioles, could well be modern Italian influence in Cyprus as elsewhere, but the dish is as much a part of Cyprus cookery today as afelia, koloketes and so on.

Dough

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
450g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Cheese filling

Quantity Ingredient
225g haloumi cheese, grated
250g Anari
or 250g ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1-2 teaspoons dried mint, crushed

To finish

Quantity Ingredient
125g butter, melted
haloumi or kefalotiri cheese, or a mixture, grated

Method

  1. To make the dough, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the eggs and about 125 ml cold water. Mix to a soft dough, adding more water if necessary. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until elastic and smooth, adding a little flour if the dough still sticks. Cover and leave to rest for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, thoroughly combine the cheese filling ingredients, adding crushed mint to taste. The mixture should be fairly stiff.
  3. Divide the dough into two equal portions and roll each one out thinly.
  4. Cut the dough into strips 8 cm wide. Spread a strip on a work surface and place a teaspoon of cheese filling at 4 cm intervals on one side of the centre of the strip.
  5. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, lightly moisten the pastry around one side of the filling. Fold the pastry over the filling, pressing well between the mounds of filling and along the edge.
  6. Cut the ravioles into crescents, using a 5 cm biscuit cutter. Press the edges again with the tines of a fork to seal well, then place on a cloth and cover. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, rolling out and using the pastry trimmings as well.
  7. Cook 15 ravioles at a time in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 15–20 minutes, or until tender. Remove each batch with a slotted spoon, to a colander set over simmering water to keep them warm while cooking the remainder.
  8. When all ravioles are cooked, turn them into a dish and drizzle with the melted butter. Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve hot.

Note

  • Cooked ravioles may be refrigerated in a sealed container and heated in a colander over boiling water before serving.
Tags:
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Tess
Mallos
Middle Eastern
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