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Ravioli


What business does a Polish girl have making an Italian dumpling?you ask.


None, really.


Except a ravioli is nothing more than a pierogi.


And a pierogi is nothing more than an Italian dumpling. And vice versa.


And Polish girls got all the business in the world making pierogi! 😊😊


I kid; there is nothing wrong with anyone making any type of cuisine. That's how traditions and memories live and breathe-- through the sharing of recipes.


Now the real challenge is not everyone is willing to share recipes.


Ahhh-- but that's a double-edged sword.


While many like to keep family recipes a secret- perhaps to have a leg up on the neighbor at the county fair's or church bazar's "best cherry pie contest" or "best ribs contest" most times when recipes are guarded tighter than Fort Knox during a budget meeting with a squirrel accountant, they get lost once the recipe holder passes on to another realm.


It's not the recipe, per se, the ingredients list that gets lost, it's the technique that "travels to another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. That's the signpost up ahead—your next stop: the Twilight Zone."


Thank you "The Twilight Zone," and Rod Serling for that brilliant opening theme.


Techniques on how to make food is what really gets lost as technique was usually NEVER part of the old school recipe share. Yeah- your grandma or aunt will share the ingredients; good luck figuring out the correct order to add ingredients. Or how to understand how the dough should feel; how the meat should bounce back when at medium rare. That's all technique. And experience.


And if no one is willing to share the technique with others, the recipe usually gets lost all together.


And so does the memory of that amazing person.


Recipes keep our loved ones alive! Sharing them-- I can't help but visualize that loved one standing in the kitchen with you while making their food and still being part of this dimension- sight, sound and body.


Share recipes when you can. No one will ever make your favorite food like your loved one anyway- We miss one crucial ingredient that they added when they cooked for you-- and that's their love for you- But maybe, just maybe, we add enough of our own love to take you back to your childhood memories of your loved one-- and that is enough. ❤️


COOKING CLASS WITH CAROL

Ravioli



Ravioli, a popular Italian pasta dish, has a rich and delicious history. Its origins can be traced back to the Roman Empire, where a similar dish called "lagana" was mentioned in the writings of the renowned Roman poet Horace. These early versions of stuffed pasta were a common part of Roman cuisine.


However, the dish we recognize as ravioli today likely originated in the Middle Ages in the Italian region of Liguria. The term "ravioli" is derived from the old Italian word "riavvolgere," which means "to wrap." During this time, pasta-making techniques spread across Italy, leading to the creation of various regional pasta dishes, including ravioli.


Ravioli gained widespread popularity in the 14th century in the Italian city-states of Florence and Venice. The filling options became diverse, ranging from cheese and herbs to meats and vegetables, reflecting regional preferences and ingredients.


Over the centuries, ravioli recipes evolved and adapted, incorporating different fillings and sauces. Today, ravioli is enjoyed worldwide, with countless variations and creative fillings, making it a beloved dish in many cultures.





Italian regional ravioli variations showcase the country's culinary diversity. Here are some notable regional ravioli types:


Ravioli alla Genovese (Liguria): In Liguria, ravioli are often filled with a mixture of ricotta cheese, Swiss chard, and marjoram. They are typically served with a walnut sauce or a simple butter and sage sauce.


Tortelli di Zucca (Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna): Hailing from the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions, these raviolis are filled with a delightful mixture of roasted pumpkin, grated Parmesan cheese, and mostarda (a sweet and spicy fruit chutney). They are often served with a butter and sage sauce.


**Ravioli di Magro (Liguria, Tuscany): This translates to "lean ravioli," indicating that they are filled with vegetables such as spinach, chard, or artichokes. They are typically served with a tomato-based sauce.


Culurgiones (Sardinia): These unique raviolis are semicircular in shape and are filled with a mixture of potatoes, pecorino cheese, and mint. They are often served with tomato sauce or a simple basil and garlic sauce.


Agnolotti del Plin (Piedmont): These small, plump ravioli are typically filled with roasted meats, vegetables, or cheese. The name "plin" refers to the pinching motion used to seal the pasta. They are commonly served with a butter and sage sauce.


Cjarsons (Friuli-Venezia Giulia): Cjarsons are sweet and savory ravioli filled with ingredients like apples, pears, chocolate, cinnamon, and ricotta cheese. They are often served with melted butter, cinnamon, and smoked ricotta cheese.


Ravioli di Ricotta (Sicily): Sicilian ravioli is often filled with ricotta cheese, sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes chocolate. They are served as a dessert and are typically drizzled with honey or dusted with powdered sugar.


**this recipe is what I will be sharing with you.

Things to Consider

Dough - the recipe for ravioli dough is quite similar to that of fresh egg pasta dough. Infact, it's the same. Start in a well method to incorporate just enough flour to make the dough tender yet elastic. Be certain to rest for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.


Filling

Spinach- Fresh is the way I go when making spinach ravioli. You can use frozen spinach; it is perfectly acceptable as a substitute for fresh. Making with either fresh or frozen, the important step is to remove as much liquid as possible from the sauteed spinach. Cheese cloth is very important to this process. You can also use a flour sack towel or any extremely clean kitchen cloth. Try to use cloths that are free of lint.

Ricotta cheese- it's the important part of the filling that binds it all together, then gently melts all of the ingredients together while the ravioli cooks. The ricotta cheese should be allowed to sit in a strainer to allow any liquid to drain out. The only thing that ruins a ravioli (or any dumpling) is runny filling that leeches out because it's too wet.


Sauce- A fragrant, fresh, and thicker marinara is my go-to sauce for raviolis. Refer to my blog "The Walk that started it all" about Cindy Litterini-Smith's marinara sauce for this recipe.


Recipe

Dough

1 1/2 c. flour

2 eggs plus one egg yolk

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 t. salt


**I make several batches of this at one time - or make more according to how much filling I have left over.



  1. in the well method, combine all ingredients until well incorporated. Rest for one hour in refrigerator.



Filling

1 cup whole milk ricotta- drained

1 large egg

1 cup pecorino Romano cheese,

10 oz. fresh spinach, cleaned and trimmed of stems

1 t. minced garlic

1/2 t. freshly grated nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

zest of one lemon


  1. Clean, trim and sauté spinach in a sauté pan on medium high heat with 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil.

  2. once spinach is wilted, allow to cool. Wring out in cheese cloth until dry. Finely chop.


3. in a separate bowl, add drained ricotta to remaining filling ingredients.

then add spinach. Thoroughly combine.




Assembling ravioli


  • Bring large stock pot full of salted water to a gentle rolling boil.

  • roll out dough on a pasta machine up to number 4 or 5.

  • dallop spinach filling onto dough

  • fold over, and seal.

  • separate with ravioli cutter

  • drop each ravioli into gentle rolling boil water. An aggressive boil can damage the ravioli and open them up into the water. Cook one minute longer after ravioli float to top of water. With slotted spoon, remove and drain excess water.

  • dress with marinara and serve!



ENJOY!


I had an amazing opportunity to cook ravioli with my great friends, Dino, Chrissy and Peggy. You ready to learn to cook them too?





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