Ravioles

Ravioli Stuffed with Haloumi and Mint

THIS festive pasta from Cyprus was originally shaped into half-moons, but now most cooks prefer to make square ravioli. There are as many versions of ravioles as there are Cypriot cooks. This one is based on a recipe given to me by the Cyprus Dairy Producers Association.

Most commercial vacuum-packed haloumi cheese is too salty for this dish, so you will need to soak it in water for 2 to 3 hours before grating it. You’ll also need dried mint for the filling (the flavor of fresh is completely different). Instead of making the ravioli with the rich dough of this recipe, you could use the dough for Cheese-Stuffed Pasta from Astypalaia.

Ingredients

Pasta

  • 3–3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, or a combination of melted butter and safflower oil
  • About 1 cup milk

Filling

  • cups grated haloumi cheese (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1½–2 teaspoons dried mint, crumbled
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

Make the Pasta

Place 3 cups flour in a food processor. With the motor running, add the egg yolks, one at a time, and then the butter or butter and oil. Slowly pour in enough milk to make a soft dough. As soon as the dough forms a ball, stop the processor and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Process the dough for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until smooth and slightly sticky. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

Knead the dough briefly, sprinkling with a little more flour if needed, until very smooth. Cover and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, Make the Filling

In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, egg whites and dried mint and beat until smooth.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece through a pasta machine as thin as possible, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Line a large tray with a kitchen towel.

Work with 1 piece of dough at a time, keeping the remaining dough covered. Place ½ teaspoon of the filling about 2 inches apart and 1 inch up from the bottom edge of each pasta sheet. Fold the top half of the pasta over to cover the filling. Cut into 2-inch squares with a fluted pastry wheel or a knife. Press the edges with the tines of a fork to seal.

Place the ravioli on the towel-lined tray, leaving some room between them.

Let the ravioli dry for 2 hours, then layer them between paper towels in a container, cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the ravioli and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they come to the surface. Remove from the heat and quickly pour in 2 to 3 cups cold water to stop the cooking. With a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the ravioli to a serving dish.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the butter and oil and cook the fresh mint over medium heat for 1 minute. Pour over the ravioli, sprinkle with pepper to taste and serve at once.

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