Cypriot ravioli with halloumi
The filling for the Cypriot ravioli (rafkioles) with halloumi also includes ricotta, eggs and dry mint. The ricotta is added for extra texture but also to balance out the saltiness of the halloumi, as in itself ricotta has a very mild not salty flavour. To make sure though that the mixture for the Cypriot ravioli with halloumi is balanced before you add the eggs just taste it to check the saltiness. There are a variety of halloumi brands you can find at the supermarket and one may be saltier than the other.
300 g “00” pasta flour, extra for dusting
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup water 160mL
500 g halloumi cheese, grated
200 g ricotta cheese, firm
2 eggs, whisked
½ tbs dry mint
salt if needed
grated halloumi for serving
Fo more explanations and step by step photos check out the link
- To make the pasta dough by hand add the sifted flour in a bowl, the salt and then the extra virgin olive oil. Rub the flour in between your hands so that that the oil spreads as evenly as possible. Then slowly add the water and keep mixing and kneading the dough with your hands until all the ingredients are well incorporated. This may take up to 10min. You know you are done once a smooth surface is achieved. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl, dust and rub flour on the surface then cover the bowl with a towel. Allow the dough to rest for an hour.
- To make the filling mix the grated halloumi and ricotta together in a bowl. The ricotta you use should be well strained and firm as you don’t want liquid released on the pasta dough during assembly. Taste to see if you need to add salt, as the saltiness of the store-bought halloumi varies. Then add the eggs and dry mint into the cheeses. Mix well until a consistent mixture is formed.
- Take the pasta dough, cut it into 4 pieces and use one piece at a time to stretch and form the pasta sheet needed. Return the other pieces to the bowl and cover well with the towel. Dust the bench with flour and then use a rolling pin to stretch out the dough, enough to help it pass through the pasta machine.
My pasta machine has numbers 1 to 7, 7 being the wider setting (hence thicker dough). After I roll out the dough with the rolling pin, I put it through the pasta machine 3 times at different thicknesses, first at 6, 4 and then lastly at 2. Each time you roll the dough through the pasta machine ensure your working bench is well floured as well as the pasta sheet so that it doesn’t stick. The pasta sheet should be about 14cm in width.
- Use a tablespoon and add the filling on the top half of the pasta sheet, 3 cm apart. At this stage you want to avoid having a pasta sheet with flour on the top surface as the dough will not seal well. If there is extra flour then brush some water around the filling.
- Fold the pasta sheet over the filling and use your hands to press the dough around each cheese mixture. That way you remove any air and help seal the ravioli. Then use a pasta cutter or a small cup like an espresso glass and cut out the ravioli forming half-moon shapes. The diameter of the pasta cutter I used was 6cm long. Refer to the photos above as a reference for the steps to follow.
All the excess dough cut out maybe repressed to form pasta sheets again. Repeat the assembly process until all the dough and filling are finished. Approximately 40 ravioli may form.
- Line a tray with some flour and place each prepared ravioli on it. Set aside covered with a towel until you are ready to use. If you wish to freeze the ravioli then line a tray with baking paper, dust with flour and place the ravioli on it. Cover the tray well with cling wrap and place it in the freezer. Once the ravioli are frozen you can place them in a container or a sealed bag if preferred.
Bring 6L of water to a boil and add a stock cube of your choice. Typically we tend to boil chicken to make chicken broth and then cook the ravioli in it. You may choose whichever method you prefer. If you cook the ravioli fresh then it needs 4-5min of cooking, whereas from frozen (without thawing) it requires 8-10. Serve warm with some extra halloumi grated on top. After boiling, the ravioli expand quite a bit and I find one batch is enough for 4 adults to eat.