Monday, December 20, 2010

Tutti Mangia

Tonight's challenge: my grandmother's ravioli.

First of all, I don't plan on eating this ravioli until Wednesday 12/22 when Jon and I celebrate Christmas together. So, obviously another meal was in order to eat tonight. I made lemon chicken pasta: mini farfalle (piccolini), lemon juice, chicken, basil, and parmesan cheese. Really simple and light.

Maybe I just made myself something easy because I knew what was coming: a huge ravioli headache.
First and foremost, let me share with you my grandmother's recipe (well, not the whole thing. Because then I'd have to kill you) 
That Ethel.  She's so cute. I love the "little garlic" and "little onion" and "little salt" that I'm supposed to add. And that I'm supposed to wait "a little while". Very precise measurements. The filling was easy. It tasted perfect, just like I remember. 

I'd just finished the filling when Erika came over. Unfortunately, Jon had to work tonight and was not available to be my muscle like I was counting on. :( But Erika and I had a good laugh trying to roll out that dough. First it was too dry. Then it was too sticky. Then I added more flour and it was too dry again (thank you, 5280 feet). Finally, I decided it might be easier to just work with smaller portions of dough at a time. And finally, I got it rolled out thin enough so I smacked on some of the ravioli paste, folded the dough in half and got to cutting.

This is where I had a near nervous breakdown. My mom has a pretty handy rolling pin with squares on it that cuts the ravioli perfectly and evenly, and seals them tight. She also has a fluted ravioli cutter (the one that Maw Maw speaks of above). I realized last night that I didn't have these gadgets, but I thought I could wing it.


My first batch looked like this:

You see, when you fold over the dough and just use your average pizza cutter, this is what happens. I obviously knew this in the back of my head, but doing the smart, practical thing would have made it way too easy.

So then, I decided to just cut the dough into squares, and individually fill the ravioli and seal them tight with a fork and some egg whites. By the time I'd had this "genius" plan, Jon came home and dove right in (Thank God! My arms were getting tired from all that rolling pin action) So our finished product looks like this:

Pretty cute, right? I was pleased with them by the end. The bad news is: these look nothing like they're supposed to. My mom's are always much smaller and prettier. The other bad news is for all of you who asked for some: sorry, but since they're so big, there's really not enough to share! Maybe I will get the correct tools and make them another time (my birthday is March 28th, if you're wondering).

Also, since Jen read my blog today and discovered my little blurb about fudge, she was a little miffed that she hasn't received any and also conveniently mentioned that she likes chocolate peanut butter swirled fudge. In light of little Christmas gifts being passed around the office...

So I made dinner, I made ravioli, I made choco PB fudge, and now I'm exhausted. So feel free to come on over and take care of this...

Buona notte.


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