Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jumbo Ravioli (Page 235)

RECIPE #1050

  • Date: Saturday, November 21, 2009 -- 7pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our New House!
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Brad, Deniz, Karen H, and Dave
  • Recipe Rating: B

This recipe was part of a dinner I made when my husband's family came to visit us last weekend. To make this recipe I started by making the Pasta Dough recipe. While the dough rested I made the filling. I stirred together ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, parsley, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. I divided the dough into 6 pieces. With each piece I put it through the pasta roller on the widest setting 8 times. Then I put it through once on a slightly thinner setting, then on an even thinner setting, and so on until I put it through on the thinnest setting. I repeated this process with the other pieces of dough. Then I took one rectangle of dough and dropped mounds of filling on it. I brushed egg wash around the mounds and laid another pasta rectangle on top and pushed it around the mounds to enclose the filling, pressing the air out. Then with a pastry cutter I cut the ravioli into 3 inch squares. To cook the ravioli I put them in a pot of boiling salted water and gently boiled. I served them topped with tomato sauce. These ravioli tasted pretty good, but making them was a bit of a disaster. I rolled out the dough as instructed, but while rolling I kept thinking, "This dough is too thin for ravioli." Indeed it was. Typicaly the problem with ravioli is that they can come unsealed around the edges while cooking, and the filling will seep out into the water. That didn't happen here. But the pasta was so thin that it just couldn't contain the filling. The pasta tore open around the mounds of filling, which spilled the filling into the boiling water. Most of them were salvagable, but they weren't cute. This also made it impossible to serve them elegantly. Indeed you can see in the picture above that I used the tomato sauce to cover up the mess. Were I to make these again I would make the pasta thicker, or the ravioli smaller. The combination of very thin pasta and a huge amount of filling led to them tearing. The filling had a nice enough flavor. It wasn't terribly interesting, but for a simple cheese ravioli it was fine. In summary, I enjoyed eating these ravioli, but as written I won't be making this recipe again.

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My husband and I travel a lot -- both to see each other, and for our work. I try to be at least a month ahead planning our travel: buying plane tickets, figuring out the dates for road trips, renting cars when needed, etc... Now that November is nearing a close, I am trying to tackle the December travel schedule. The beginning of December it's just the usual thing: traveling to Michigan on the weekends and back to Indiana during the week. The Christmas travel, though, is always a little confusing. We try to celebrate Christmas with both of our families in one way or another. So we schedule a trip to Wisconsin and a trip to Ohio back to back, in some order. We also try to coordinate with the schedules of our siblings (my brother and my husband's two brothers) if any subset of them are traveling to Wisconsin/Ohio for Christmas. Once we have all the info we try to do whatever allows us to see the most people for the longest period of time, while missing as few extended family events as possible. After consulting with all the relevant parties, we have developed a Christmas plan for this year! We are doing pre-Christmas and Christmas day with my family, and post-Christmas with my husband's. I haven't had Christmas day with my family in several years (as typically that is allocated to my husband's family) so I am excited about that -- especially because the Christmas celebration will take place at my grandpa's house, where we had it when I was a little kid. Christmas hasn't been at my grandpa's house in decades, so I am very excited for Christmas this year! Then we will have post-Christmas and New Year's fun in Ohio with my special gentleman's parents, his brother Brad, sister-in-law Deniz, and the puppies! It should be a good time. And shortly after New Year's we will hit the road for a long drive to California (where my special gentleman will be living in the winter/spring). But that's January travel, so I won't worry about that quite yet!

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