Ravioli, Steak And Why All Good Things Are Homemade.

 

     It’s no secret by now that I love to make everything from scratch. From sauces to pastries, you name it I’m all about it. Recently I tried my hand at some raviolis and I was floored. Not only are they delicious, they require very little ingredients and pack a ton of flavor. I literally woke up to a high-five, people. I kid you not. That’s how I knew I found a winner. Nevermind the fact that raviolis are so customizeable that you can please almost any appetite. If that isn’t a great selling point, I don’t know what is.

     I really enjoy getting my hands dirty when I cook. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that in a previous post or two. There’s something truly satisfying about being super involved in a dish. Homemade food is a way of life. It requires a large amount of patience and preparation, for what some people perceive, a very limited window of enjoyment. My entire life my mother made everything from scratch, with her hands. Sure, we ate meals that weren’t entirely homemade. Frozen pizzas were a staple once a week and I certainly loved those, but I’d say almost seventy-five percent of what I ate as a youth was made by my mother. There’s a love that goes into making food, if you’re truly passionate, and it was apparent in everything my mother made. If I were to look at my mother right now and asked her if she recalled “that cake she made that one time”, she would know exactly the one I was referring to. It’s a rich chocolate ganache cake that had to be kept refrigerated to preserve it’s consistency and she made it twice. Yes, twice in thirty-three years I have been graced with it and I still beg for it to this day. So, if I haven’t illustrated my point enough, I come by my love for homemade food by no coincidence, no act of chance. To further prove my point, I sleep next to a photo of my mother holding a copy of “The Joy of Cooking” (the same copy she still owns) on my wall from when she was a teen in the seventies. Mom puts love into everything she makes so I do the same. I don’t know any other way.

     Dad is a separate subject entirely and one I addressed it briefly in my very first post on the site. I grew up running around my father’s kitchen and you KNOW everything was made with meticulous detail. My father wasn’t one to make mistakes when cooking and his food was always nothing short of phenomenal. He did always have an eye for detail. Not only was he an executive chef, he also had a seasoning company under our family name. I still own some of it and I keep it with all of my spices. Sure, it’s too old to use, but I have a few fond memories from when I was a kid because of that stuff. I recall seeing it in the stores for the first time hundreds of miles from home and bursting with a sense of pride because that was my dad. He also took me on my first cruise when I was eleven, down to the Caribbean, because he was an Executive Chef for Royal Caribbean. Through my father, I got to experience a wide variety of flavors. I get my attention to detail from him and I get my love for cooking from my mother. I am my parent’s daughter in all aspects when it comes to cooking.

     Let me get back to my original point of this whole post, those delectable raviolis. I am, as I’ve said before, continuously shocked at how easy some of the foods I make really are. It’s like I’ve built up this idea that it’s unattainable and I’m always shocked at how easy it is to ultimately grasp and reproduce. 


What you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-2 tbsp water (if needed)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Your filling (I used diced Kale and Red Swiss Chard, sauteed Portabellas, caramelized Shallots, Goat Cheese and thyme.)

 


 

     The recipe I used called for a mixer, but you know me, I ended up using my hands. In a medium-sized mix your flour and salt, making sure to leave a small well or divot in the middle to place your two lightly beaten eggs. Mix this well. If needed, add 1-2 tablespoons of water as you blend until you’re able to form the dough into a ball. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes. 


 

     Once you’ve allowed your dough to rest, section the dough ball into four equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each bit of dough into roughly a 12 inch square and about 1/16 inch thick. Once you’re finished with that, take your final beaten egg and add 1 tablespoon of water. Mix well and set off to the side. Take each square of dough and cut the dough into 2 inch-wide strips. Brush each strip with the egg mixture thoroughly.  Taking your filling, begin to place a teaspoon of the mixture onto the ravioli in 1 inch intervals, leaving a 1/2 inch wide strip. Take a second strip of dough and lay it egg side down on the first. Using your fingers, gently press the dough together around the filling to ensure the strips stick together. Cut the piece of dough between each portion of filling, creating raviolis. Repeat these steps until finished with dough and/or filling.


 

 

     (I went out and bought a special tool to cut my ravioli out with. You can easily just use a knife, but if you’re anything like me, you enjoy collecting kitchen gadgets and the like. I forget what this thing is called, but it’s super handy and kind of cute, too.) 


 

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     Boil some salt water in a large pot and gently cook your ravioli for about 3-5 minutes. I noticed that some of my pasta was a touch thicker in areas and that just required a little more time in the water to sort it all out. This whole process would’ve been made a million times easier if I had a pasta rolling attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer, but oh well. Once the ravioli are finished cooking, you can basically eat them however you choose. I opted for a Sherry Cream Sauce and that went beautifully with both the ravioli and Beef Tenderloin I served this with. I even finished off that nice bottle of Motto “Unabashed” that I wrote about a post back. It went with my meal beautifully.


 

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 I would love to continue hearing from you all. Your feedback is always welcome and much appreciated. If you make some ravioli yourself, send me a photo of the finished product! I’d love to see what you’ve created! Enjoy, everyone, from my heart to your table. Thank you, as always.

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