I love holiday cooking. But this Christmas, I faced some new challenges. One visiting son has been vegetarian for the last decade. The other is now following the new "vegan before 6" regimen. And for the past year, my husband (and I) have been trying to eat a low-salt diet.
For Christmas Eve dinner, I proposed a traditional Slovenian treat I had made more than a year earlier: buckwheat ravioli with cheese-millet filling, otherwise known as ajdovi krapi. Everyone approved.
My husband and I had enjoyed my first version of ajdovi krapi. There was one small drawback: the all-buckwheat dough hadn't been as pliable and tender as the typical noodle dough. I had to cut the dough into rough circles and tamp them together. The end product, although tasty, was what I would call "rustic." My mother was more blunt: Too dry, she said.
This time, I decided to make a more refined version. So I used the the same dough that I used to make buckwheat struklji, here, which combines buckwheat and white wheat flour.
For the filling, I followed my original recipe, here, with two small changes. Instead of salt, I used a salt-free seasoning mix. And for an added flavor boost, I browned the millet before cooking.
I doubled the filling, to match the larger quantity of pasta dough in that struklji recipe. (So I did end up with leftover filling.)
It worked beautifully! Since the dough was more pliable, I was able to shape into folded and crimped triangles, instead of putting two circles of dough together. The end product looked like the zlikrofi or wontons I recalled from childhood.
This may become a regular addition to our holiday table!
To see the original version, with more photos, go here.
Buckwheat Ravioli, updated
1 ½ c. white flour
½ c. buckwheat flour
1 t. salt
2 T olive oil
½ cup hot water, plus 2 T more if needed
1 cup millet (dry measure), cooked* and cooled
3 cups farmer cheese or ricotta
1-2 eggs, beaten
salt-free seasoning mix, to taste (or regular salt, if preferred)
fresh parsley to taste, minced
*Tastiest way: brown millet in dry skillet, add 2 cups water, cover and cook until water is absorbed.
(Easiest: add millet to large pot of boiling water, simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, drain.)
First, make the filling: Mix cooked millet, cheese, egg, salt substitute and parsley. Refrigerate.
For the dough: Sift the flours and salt into a bowl. Beat the egg and oil together and stir into the flour. Add enough hot water to make a stiff dough. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour if necessary. Form into a ball and let rest, covered, for 30 minutes.
Drop the ravioli into a large pot of boiling salted water, a few at a time, and cook until done. Drain and served with buttered breadcrumbs or (our favorite) ajvar and Greek yogurt.