Ravi-whoa-li

A few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to make ravioli. Partly because I could, partly because I was bored. Mostly I liked the idea that if I got good at whipping up ravioli at home, I could control the ingredients and serve local/free range/exotic wacky filling/dough woven with gold fairydust fresh pasta. So (see above re: bored) I photographed the excursion.

The filling: beef, asiago, and mozzarella. Note that empty wine bottle in the background.

fig. 1: Mmmm, beefy.

I didn’t *quite* nail the dough mixing proportions and my hands were too dirty to capture the ensuing farce. But trust me, we did laugh at my inability to pour the egg and water into the flour well. Well, Tom laughed while I muttered about my failure to conquer ground wheat. I also discovered that we don’t have a flour sifter, after which I mentioned that had to be the only kitchen implement we didn’t own. I’ll get back to that.

fig. 2: not a slug.

Next came the dough rolling. At this juncture, I discovered the second kitchen tool we do not own: a rolling pin. Did you note that empty wine bottle above? Gooooood.

fig. 3: It was already empty. Swear.

I had thought that after our wedding and various cooking misadventures we had at least all of the kitchen basics and most of the wacky stuff, but I was wrong. For the record, wine bottles are usually tapered and not quite heavy enough to get the right weight distribution. Rolling the dough took a WHILE. But I got several usable strips, and sealed the filling inside.

fig. 4: Runaway beef, never goin’ back.

Well, “sealed” is a loose term. There was a great deal of runaway beef, re-rolling to make the dough thinner, and the odd tears. It was very difficult to get it just right with the dough being a bit too thick and a little dry.

fig. 5: Frowny-oli.

But behold! The finished product! I am not strong enough to get the pasta as thin as it should be, so it was hard to cook.

fig. 6: Take THAT, Chef Boyardee!

Would I do it again? Yes, if only to prove that I’m tougher than pasta. I found a mold on Amazon that looks like an ice cube tray that would make my life substantially easier if I pursued this a second time. I would also grind the filling up more so it would be a bit smoother. The edges were very thick and a little too chewy, but I suspect they were a bit undercooked. Overall, this was a hearty meal, the ravioli didn’t fall apart in the pot, and it was declared “Not bad for a first effort” by the diplomatic husband.

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