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Christmas Emoji Pasta

Christmas Emoji Pasta

Author of “Pasta, Pretty Please,” Linda Miller Nicholson takes adorable emojis images and adds them to handmade pasta.
Ingredients for the Basic Mother Dough (Pale Yellow)
  • 2 ¼ cups “00” pasta flour
  • 4 large eggs
Ingredients for the Leafy Greens Dough (Dark Gereen)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ bunch of lacinato kale or other dark leafy green such as spinach (4 to 6 ounces, or about 2 packed cups baby spinach) or nettles
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2-¼ cups “00” pasta flour
Ingredients for the Pepperoni Pizza Filling
  • 8 ounces low-moisture (not water-packed) whole milk mozzarella
  • 3 ounces pepperoni slices (or other sliced salami of your choice, such as sopressata)
  • ¼ cup canned tomato sauce
  • 16 fresh basil leaves
  • Flour, for forming balls of filling

Directions:


BASIC MOTHER DOUGH (Pale Yellow)
1. Combine the flour and eggs in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until a ball of dough forms. Continue to knead for 3 minutes, either by hand or in the mixer, so that the dough develops elasticity and silkiness. Cover the ball of dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before sheeting.


2. Alternatively, you can let the dough rest for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. The color sometimes fades after that, although the dough is still usable for up to 3 days.


LEAFY GREENS DOUGH (Dark Green)
1. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the salt, baking soda, 8 cups water to a boil. Add the kale and blanch it for 15 seconds. Strain and press out the water.


2. Add the kale to a blender and wait 1 or 2 minutes for it to cool. Add the eggs and blend on low speed at first to combine, then increase the speed and puree until smooth.


3. Strain the puree with a fine-mesh sieve over a small bowl to remove and discard any grainy threads. This should yield about 1 cup puree.


4. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour and puree. Mix on low speed until a ball of dough forms. Continue to knead for 3 minutes, either by hand or in the mixer, so that the dough develops elasticity and silkiness. Cover the ball of dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before sheeting.


5. Alternatively, you can let the dough rest for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. The color sometimes intensified after that, although the dough is still usable for up to 3 days.


BEET-PAPRIKA DOUGH (Bright Red)
1. Put the beet in a small, non-metal bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 50 seconds. Let sit for 2 minutes. Uncover and add to a blender along with the paprika and eggs. Blend on low speed to combine, slowly increasing speed until a smooth puree forms.


2. Combine the flour and puree in the bowl of standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until a ball of dough forms. Continue to knead for 3 minutes, either by hand or in the mixer, so that the dough develops elasticity and silkiness. Cover the ball of dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before sheeting.


3. Alternatively, you can let the dough rest for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. The dough will turn a reddish brown after that, although the dough is still usable for up to 3 days.


CHRISTMAS EMOJI RAVIOLONI
1. Start with a base pasta sheet that is rolled to the second-thinnest setting on your pasta machine. You’ll need a top and bottom sheet, and both sheets should be 5- to 6-inch squares, though larger won’t hurt anything, and that way you’ll have plenty of room to cut them down to whatever size you wish.


2. Roll out any dough you are using for your emoji design to the second-thinnest setting on your pasta machine.


3. Paint a small amount of water onto the base sheets and press the design onto the center of the base sheet. Use a rolling pin to gently affix it to the base sheet.


4. Once the emoji is complete, use a dry paintbrush to wipe away any excess water from the design. Use a rolling pin to gently seal the design to the base sheet, rolling gently back and forth in all directions so you don’t skew the design too much in any one direction.


5. Fill the emoji ravioloni.


PEPPERONI PIZZA FILLING
1. Combine the mozzarella, pepperoni, tomato sauce, and basil in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is uniform but still textured, with no large chunks. Do not overmix this filling or it will become unpleasantly grainy.


2. Remove the filling en masse to a floured work surface and divide it into eight portions. Roll each portion together with floured hands as if you were making meatballs. Flatten the balls into discs about 1 inch thick. Store on a parchment-lined, floured sheet pan, covered, if using within 3 hours; otherwise cover the pan and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.


3. Uncover the reserved bottom sheet of pasta and use your fingers to dab a small circle of flour in the middle of the sheet where you’ll place the filling. This helps keep the pasta touching the filling from getting soggy. Place about ¼ cup of your chosen filling on the flour circle. Use a brush to paint the base sheet with water around the filling so that the top sheet will adhere to it. Pick up your emoji top sheet and align it over the base sheet, pattern side up. Very gently set the top sheet over the filling, taking care to push air bubbles to the edges and avoid wrinkling the top sheet.


4. Be sure to boil the sealed ravioloni no more than four at a time in a large stockpot. Boil ravioloni made with this filling for 4 minutes, so that the mozzarella has enough time in the hot water to melt. The ooziness cannot be beat. Since there’s plenty going on both aesthetically and inside the ravioloni, there’s no need for a complicated sauce. A browned butter sauce is recommended.


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