Friday, July 18, 2008

There’s a first time for everything


Tonight marks my first time at making ravioli. I was inspired by this post by Michael Ruhlman, and thought, “I can do that”. I have made fresh pasta countless times, and it’s really heavenly and light-tasting. But filled pasta? Never. I didn’t even remember that I’d never made ravioli before – it didn’t occur to me. Sounds pretty silly, I know; but I just saw that picture on Ruhlman’s post, and j’en avais envie.

I’m always up for trying new pasta dough recipes. So far this year, my favorite technique has been Jamie Oliver’s. but today I needed a little manual labor, a little aggression taken out in the form of kneading by hand. Not that today was particularly hard on the workfront, but we do have some looming deadlines and a new internal product rolling out very soon at New Big Corporate, so by the time I was done dealing with Corporate Suits, I felt the need to come home and get kneading. And then pressing through the pasta rollers. (so very therapeutic. Makes me feel like Ken at the end of A Fish Called Wanda, who runs his steamroller right over Otto and then proceeds to chant “How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?” which I tend to chant a lot, much to the boy’s annoyance. In fact I annoyed the boy so much with this chant that he actually LOOKED up how much wood a wood chuck could chuck. The answer to that question is 600 pounds {or 700, say some sources}. And there, folks, is your Useless Trivia for today).

So I used Ruhlman’s recipe for the filling as a guideline, adding to the ricotta some minced red jalapeño, minced shallot and chive, a little bit of tangerine zest, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. The eggs are from Moore Farms, which is the only place I get my eggs from nowadays. Fresh egg yolks stand up higher than ones sitting in the grocery store for a month and a half. In fact, these yolks stood up so high that I had some difficulty folding the pasta over them.



It was about this time when I realized that I’d never made ravioli before and that I had no idea what the heck I was doing. But I didn’t let that stop me. I tossed a couple of them in salted boiling water, where the pasta proceeded to stretch and become the Incredible Expanding Ravioli. I hauled them out, splashed on some brown butter and chopped parsley, handed the boy a fork and dug in.

The verdict? The boy said it was “frou-frou” but not in a bad way. "For a refined palate", he says. He ate a couple of bites then left the rest to me, which I happily dug into. I really liked this a lot, and I just loved the yolk oozing out all over my fork when I cut into the pasta. It had incredible lemon flavor, and I think maybe next time I’ll hunt down some lemon thyme and sprinkle that on top of the plated pasta instead of parsley. It’s definitely a dish I’ll make again, and probably for a bunch of chicks, the next time any of my degenerate friends come over, that is.

2 comments:

NDM said...

I don't remember where I had them, but they look like the best ravioli I ever had. Nice and big, good contrast between the scrumptious filling and the outer edges...sadly now I am gluten intolerant, so I have find another way... :)

emily1274 said...

I love when you only have to eat one ravioli!

I will eat your fru-fru pasta anytime!