Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of Ravioli

Okay, so it's soon for me to be delving into the world of pasta again, however things just work out that way sometimes. I've been poking around online looking for ravioli fillings that really seem interesting, but I didn't want anything that would require a degree from the Culinary Institute of America to make.

I couldn't find anything that wasn't too plain, too fatty or too boring. Then I was at New Seasons on Friday, grabbing some little niblets to eat for dinner, when I noticed that they'd just put out some fresh dungeoness crabmeat. That sounded SO good. So I got a quarter pound of it (it's much expensive, so I went with a teeny amount which turned out to be just enough). I picked up a little tub of low-fat ricotta, and another little block of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

So this morning, I took out the remaining 4 segments of pasta dough, and set it out to defrost. I went about my business trying to organize the shelves in the guest-room so it can serve as my craft-central. Before I started the pasta, I made the filling. I plopped my little 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of crab into my trusty metal bowl. In went one egg, the ricotta cheese and some grated not-so-expensive Parm. I also tossed in a dash of ground pepper and a little pinch or two of salt.

I hucked that into the fridge as I always do. I then went to work and processed the dough into into noodles. I made short work of the pasta dough segments, turning them into wide (as wide as my pasta-machine) noodles.

Out came my the latest acquisition from Kitchen Kaboodle--the raggedy remnants of the price tag still clinging tenaciously to the handle. My ravioli wheel. I spooned some of the crab-meat ricotta filling into a ziploc baggie, and snipped off the corner, and used it as a piping bag to make nice dollops of filling on the noodle.

On the second one, I figured out NOT to put the dollop so close to the edge. :) isn't that mottled, grainy texture on the noodle just beautiful? I filled only half the noodle with dollops, and then I moistened around each dollop. I lifted the empty half of the noodle and folded it over the fillings, pressing down between each one to press the raviolis closed.

Then the fun part. The wheel slices a tidy line as it presses the edges closed with pretty notches. I made sure to run the wheel on all sides (except the folded edge). I got six raviolis per swath of noodle (one was larger and gave me eight)... so a total of 26 raviolis were produced. These are large ravs... at least 2" x 2". They varied of course... being hand made and rustic and all. :D

I didn't want to make a rich creamy sauce. I am trying to veer away from meals that come with a side of angioplasty... so I opted for a nice simple marinara sauce (as interpreted by me). I didn't want to make a sauce that was so strong that it would overpower the subtle flavour of the crab filling.

Some coarsely chopped garlic, some shallot, basil, oregano, and some tarragon. Just a smidgen.

Into the pan with olive oil. I sweated it a little bit before adding 1 can of diced tomatoes and 1 can of pureed tomatoes.

So now that this sauce is simmering, I set a nice deep pot of water to boil, with a dash of salt. And one by one, I plop in raviolis. I do them in batches. They take about 4 or so minutes to cook. I take them out and drain them in the colander.

I put some on a plate, spoon some of the marinara onto the noodles, and then sprinkle some parmigiano-reggiano on there along with a little baby ball of fresh mozzarella. Mmm mmm mmm.

The crab is subtle but you can taste it. It's not disappointing like lobster ravioli often is because you don't taste it. I was very satisfied with my improvised filling. Happy 4th all.


An attempt at life... said...

Awesome job! And you dont have to have a degree from cia to make raviolis silly!

A Day In the Life . . . said...


storybeader said...

wow! very enterprising on your part. I'm sure it tasted delicious! It looks good.


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