So you're going to have to taste one to see if it's cooked. I know, tough job. Carefully take 1 tamale out of the pot and let cool about 3 minutes. Cover the pot and let the remaining tamales keep cooking while you taste. Carefully fold and return to pot. Cook 5 minutes longer, then re-test.
If husk is easily removed, tamales are fully cooked! Remove from heat and let sit, uncovered, 10 minutes.
Serve with salsa and a squeeze of lime. And don't forget the refried beans. Duck has an unfair reputation for being fussy, but not this sticky-spiced, finger-licking-good version. And speaking of friends, this whole process is a lot more fun if you do it with company. Helping each other out, and making mistakes together, makes it a less burdensome process.
And making mistakes is fine; your first batch will not be perfect. So pop open the bottle of wine and enjoy yourself as senior food editor Rick Martinez translates from the Book of Ravioli. The secret to remarkable ravioli dough is stretch. You need a forgiving dough to pull over your fillings, one that will bend and expand with out cracking or ripping.
The base dough that we use for all three pastas in this primer is made to do just that. Thickness is another huge factor here. If you ravioli dough is too thick, the corners where the two layers of dough come together will be much thicker than the rest of the ravioli. This leaves you with undercooked dough, which will give you an unpleasantly chewy and crunchy texture. The solution?
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Make sure your dough is thin. Spending the extra couple of minutes is totally worth it. Not all pasta dough can be ravioli dough, but this ravioli dough is great for basically any pasta. The secret is the use of both egg and oil in the dough, which allow for a bit more flexibility than a traditional egg and wheat pasta dough.
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A traditional ravioli is always square, but hell, we're going to do them a few different ways. Paying homage to the traditional ravioli is necessary, but deviating from the classics is where the fun starts. We have three different options for you, each with a slightly different skill set. Classic Ravioli — This is probably what you think of when you think of ravioli. A square shape, featuring wavy edges and filled with just about anything you can imagine.
Classic ricotta? Kale and Pecorino? Braised lamb shank? Just watch. Raviolo — A raviolo is a single ravioli. There are more opportunities for creative fillings in one impressive piece of pasta. You could stuff them with pieces of grilled veggies or thinly sliced meat. You might even get comfortable enough to put a meatball in there.
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Agnolotti — These guys are bit more interesting than your typical circle or square. More ravioli- esque than actual ravioli, agnolotti have a slight curve and pinch in the back wall. That bend makes them the perfect vessels for holding whatever sauce you decide to finish them in. An empty noodle is great. That explosion of unexpected flavor is what we're after. We decided to give you three different fillings: Braised lamb for the meat fiends. Sweet corn and ricotta with a whole egg yolk for the adventurous.
Once your fillings are made, applications to your dough can vary slightly. The butternut squash agnolotti definitely benefit from this technique, since the filling is super smooth. Creating each individual piece of pasta is the fun part. After you cut them, you get to hold the fruits of your labor in your proud, teary-eyed, parent-like hands.
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A cutter or rolling slicer are the best, but really, you can use whatever gets the job done. If all you have is a knife, cut your square with a knife. If you have a fluted cutter, great. If you have a square cookie cutter, use that. If you want a circle, use a glass. Martinez wants you to remember that you can improvise with whatever happens to be in your kitchen. It has been said that ravioli are finished cooking when they float to the top. The raviolo and agnolotti are finished in the sauce, so you only cook them for two minutes, just until they float back up to the top.
Then you transfer them to your skillet filled with your sauce, finishing the cooking. The ravioli will go for five minutes in your pot until al dente. Then, you can just top with sauce and serve. Overcooking will cause your ravioli to break and leak filling. You don't want all your hard work to go to waste.