My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy next year. As per my usual habit of beginning a long investigation of a country’s food before visiting it, I decided to make fresh pasta this past weekend. I have not made fresh pasta since culinary school several years ago and was a little ambivalent. Should I make the dough with a Kitchen-aid or by hand? Buy a pasta machine or roll it out myself? Which pasta – linguine, pappardelle, ravioli? I decided on hand and rolling pin because I wanted the full tactile experience, and ravioli because I’m a little nuts. My pasta recipe was from Bob’s Red Mill semolina flour http://www.bobsredmill.com. The ravioli filling was butternut squash and I used Emeril’s recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/roasted-butternut-squash-ravioli-with-a-sage-brown-butter-sauce-recipe/index.html.
Making ravioli by hand is a lengthy, but immensely satisfying process, especially if you are prone to romanticizing cooking like I am. I poured myself a glass of Pacific Rim Riesling http://rieslingrules.com/, nibbled on some spicy olives and then made the filling and dough by candlelight with Vivaldi playing in the background. Ah…leisurely home cooking. I stored the filling and dough overnight in the refrigerator and did the rolling, stuffing and cooking about an hour before dinner. The result – a Kitchen Hoorah! While my ravioli were not as attractive as I’d like them to be, they tasted delicious. I sautéed them quickly in butter after boiling and I think this added extra flavor. I’m going to make this recipe with a couple different fillings before moving on to a new type of pasta. The thing I really loved about this pasta experiment – 3 meals worth of pasta (2 pp.) for under $20. Salute!