So yesterday was spent continuing a tradition that goes back way before I was born thirty-two years ago. I've alluded to how my Mom makes HOMEMADE raviolis every Christmas & Easter...and TODAY, my lucky readers, I'm going to let you in on a little 'behind the scenes' action!
It's funny because my Grandmother's love of cooking completely skipped a generation and smacked onto me, as I was always the one sitting with my elbows in flour helping her roll our dough & form Christmas cookies when I was a kid. My Mom was NEVER big into cooking, but ask her now to whip up one of my Grandmother's traditional recipes (such as these raviolis, her Easter sweet bread or Pastia) and she has just got the KNACK! It was like my Grandmom passed on the 'torch' at just the right time♥.
Sooooooo we STILL get help from my Grandmom though, in the form of her recipe book...
So, the first step in making raviolis is to make the filing. Since it's only a TWICE a year occurrence, my Mom always goes all out and buys all of the fresh ricotta & mozzarella from the import store. It just makes all the differenceJ
We load up the ricotta with eggs, parsley, grated cheese, diced fresh mozzarella & black pepper. I could tell you measurements, but ya know, some things have to remain a secretJ
ALTHOUGH I would be lying if I said we followed exact measurements anywaysJ Ya gotta go by taste!
Next up was the dough, made of just flour, eggs & water...
Lots of kneading & adding a pinch of flour here and a splash of water there goes into making fresh dough...
...you just have to *know* when it's ready to roll out!
My Grandmom always had this way of rolling out ravioli dough where she would have it literally WHIP around the rolling pin and FLAP onto the board in order to get that dough reallllllly thin. My Mom, yet again, inherited this OUT OF NOWHERE! hahahahaha...a little 'divine intervention' in the works, don't cha think??J
Once the dough is rolled to the desired thickness (my Grandmom made it SUPER thin and filled them just enough, where my Mom keeps the dough a little thicker and REALLY packs these babies with cheese!), you add your filling...
Fold the dough over and shape with your hands (sorry for the blurry picture...it IS an action shot, after all!)
Then it's time to cut out your ravs'...
And my job, that I've had since I was a little kid, still remains to crimp the raviolis with a fork to seal in all the edgesJ hahahahhhahahaha.... I got off easy, wouldn't you say?J
We had relegated my Aunt to keeping track of how many raviolis we made (75 by the end of the day!), but she couldn't help "crimping" the few raviolis I helped cranked outJ hahahahahhahaa....too cute, right???
We lay them out on cornmeal coated tins, which my Mom will freeze until the raviolis are frozen solid, before throwing them in a bag and keeping them frozen until Christmas Day! Wohoooooooo...the tradition continues!!! *Here's a little side story: I don't think I actually ATE raviolis till I was 10 or 11. I didn't like ricotta as a kid and my Grandmom always made me spaghetti instead. Was I a goofball or what?????????
Anyway...so there's even a BONUS ROUND to our afternoon of pasta making, as my Mom had used up ALL of the ricotta, but still had leftover dough. Soooooooooooo she rolled it out and made it into regular noodles for me!
Scott & I had another dinner planned for the night, but there was NO WAY I could pass up SUPER FRESH, HOMEMADE pasta (seesh...between Italy & Joe's Maplewood, I'm gonna be spoiled on homemade pasta soon!)
I had let the noodles sit out to dry until it was dinnertime, where I dropped them in a salted pot of boiling water for about 3 minutes. They cook up FAST!
And I had planned on coming home and making a quick gravy, but the thought of REALLLLLLLLLLY showcasing the flavor of the fresh noodles by just using simple garlic & olive oil just won me over...
No seriously, how can you say this dinner was anything but THE BESTEST??????
And ya know why??? Cause you can taste the LOVE that can only go into homemade food! J There in lies the secret ingredient, my friends!
So I hoped you guys enjoyed a little peek into my family's holiday traditions! Before we know it, I'll be showing you the 'final dishes' from Christmas night...hehehehehehhee....
Have a great Tuesday everyone!