Food Buzz


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Italian class, part II

To quote one my favorite comedians and current regional manager of Sabre (formerly Dunder Mifflin), "CARBOLOAD!".  Last night was a feast that required working out before, during and after the meal. In fact, I should have jogged home after school last night.  Last night was PASTA and CHEESE night in class.

Our team made linguini with white clam sauce and we also made home made spinach ricotta and chicken sausage ravioli.  Other teams made penne with alfredo sauce (cheese, egg yolks, butter, cream, you get the picture), elbows with a spicy Bolognese, CPK's spinach and artichoke dip, Butternut squash ravioli and polenta with roasted pork loin.

I also brought in my homemade foccacia and Chef brought in Tiramisu.  All in all a delicious meal and one that will require that I eat salads the rest of the week.

Making ravioli was less daunting than I thought it would be and a lot of fun.  The dough is pretty simply made in the food processor or by hand and it makes about 20-30 ravioli depending on size.

Spinach and sausage ravioli

1 1/2 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
2 large eggs

1/2 c ricotta cheese
1/4 c dry chopped spinach
1 tsp Italian herbs
1/2 c cooked chicken sausage

1.  Put all ingredients in a cuisinart and pulse a few times to blend.  Remove and knead on counter until smooth.
2.  Shape into a flat disc and wrap in plastic wrap 
3.  Refrigerate at least one hour or overnight.
4. Once refrigerated, take out and cut into 4 even pieces.  Using a pasta machine roll the dough through each size from large to small until the dough is thin and you can see the outline of your fingers through it.  Repeat once more so you have two long pieces of equal size. 

5. Put all filling ingredients into cuisinart and pulse until a smooth paste is formed for the filling.
6.  Lay one piece of dough out and using a teaspoon, measure out spoonfuls about 1 1/2 in apart in the center of the dough.  

7.  Lay  the other piece of dough over and tuck the dough around each "hill" formed by the filling.  
8.  Using a round or square cutter cut each ravioli out and fork around the ends to make sure they don't come apart in the water.
9. Cook in a large pot of salted water about 10 minutes or until al dente.

Some pictures from the evening!
Linguini with white clam sauce
Ravioli with a garlic butter sauce
What is your favorite pasta and sauce?  Mine is a toss up between Bolognese and Baked Ziti.....and Vodka sauce..... and marinara.  Ok, so I like Italian food.  But seriously, what is your favorite?  Feel free to share here!

Chow for now! :)

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