I woke up on Thursday last to a clean kitchen sink. Vaccum lines across the floor. Hair tucked in a loose, curly bun at the side of my head. The morning felt alive. It called me to create.
I tied on an apron and pulled on a pair of heels. Turned on Ella Fitzgerald. Lit the Christmas tree with it’s one thousand colors. Smiled at this place called home. This home that I decorate, and tidy, and fill with the smells of baking bread and chocolate cupcakes. What a lovely thing.
On the menu today, homemade ravioli. Because working with dough, kneading it, rolling it, pressing it into place while Ella croons in the background reminds me that I am a woman. A soft ball of floured stuff sits warmly in my hands, teaches me to cherish the roundness of my hip, the curve at the back of my calf, the supple skin around my bellybutton.
And even with all of that round curving softness, I feel light and splendid. I’m creating food to nourish my family. I’m making something of nothing. I feel very nearly like a superhero. A kitchen superhero, with apron instead of cape.
And then an egg drops on the floor, and I’m reminded that I’m a strangely uncoordinated superhero, indeed.
I rolled the dough thin and flat.
Chopped mushrooms. And spinach. And garlic. Because, after all, there is a bit of softness around my bellybutton, and though I was appreciating it for the afternoon, I don’t plan on having it there forever.
So, healthy ravioli filling for the McLay family last Thursday. But you can fill yours with whatever you so desire. Ricotta. Parmesan. Blueberry pie.
Sliced the pieces with a scalloped knife. But, you can use any old knife you please.
And that, dear reader’s, is the story of homemade ravoli on a Thursday in December. A story filled with drama, a revolving wardrobe, and a mighty fine soundtrack.
Not to mention a mouthful of pure delicious.
This egg-based dough needs to be rolled quite thin, or else you'll end up with a heap of cooked dough in your mouth at dinnertime. When rolled right, the dough creates a hearty ravioli, soft and delicious. A perfect meal for a winter evening. Though you should plan on at least 2 hours to make it in it's entirety. It's not a snappy recipe, but it sure is fun to make. Very old-fashionedy and wholesome.
FOR THE RAVIOLI:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
just enough water to make the dough soft
FOR THE SPINACH, MUSHROOM & RICOTTA FILLING:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
2 cups spinach, finely chopped
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
ground pepper to taste
FOR THE ROSEMARY OIL:
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, torn into pieces
3-5 cloves crushed garlic
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
FOR THE RAVIOLI:
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, the stir in the flour and salt. Add water as needed, until a soft dough is formed. Knead it several times, then separate it into two large pieces (feel free to let the dough rest in the fridge if you're not in a hurry). On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough into very, very thin rectangle. Spoon your favorite filling by the teaspoonful at 1 1/2" intervals on top of this piece of rolled out dough. Moisten your fingers with a little bit of water and wet the dough slightly just around the circle of filling (this will help the second layer of dough stick to the first layer of dough). Take the second piece of dough, roll it out, then drape it carefully over the top of your filling. Slice dough into individual pieces of ravioli, securing the edges of each piece with a gentle press. To cook the ravioli, heat a large pot of water to boiling. Gently slide the ravioli one by one into the pot, boiling for 6-8 minutes, or just until the dough is cooked through. Serve immediately drizzled with Rosemary oil (or your favorite pasta topping)
FOR THE FILLING:
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and cook garlic for about one minute before adding mushrooms and spinach. Cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the ricotta, parmesan, salt & pepper. Spoon into ravioli for filling.
FOR THE ROSEMARY OIL:
Place rosemary, garlic, and chili flakes in a large bowl. Pour olive oil over the herbs & spices. Set aside, allowing the flavors to meld together for about a half hour before drizzling over fresh cooked ravioli. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!