Roly Poly Ravioli!!

Roly Poly RavioliI am not a Master Chef but I am a pretty good cook with plans to open a pizza/bakery/fresh pasta establishment in the near future.  To that end, I set to a recipe for homemade ravioli. To maintain a purist bent I went with a seasonal buttternut squash filling.  Roasted squash, maple syrup, fresh nutmeg, a touch of cream, salt, pepper and a splash of apple cider vinegar just because. Very tasty indeed.

Now for the fun part: Fresh Pasta!!

I broke out my handy, dandy Marcato Atlas pasta machine. In my opinion the optional motor drive is the way to go.  Hand cranking . . . eh . . . motor drive . . . oh yeah!Marcato Atlas Pasta Machine

You can see the package of Semolina Flour in the picture above. Semolina flour is ground from the endosperm of the hard durum wheat berry. It is the perfect flour for your pasta making due to its very high levels of protein and cellulose (the substance that helps keep the cooked pasta firm).  I chose to follow the recipe on the package which called for equal parts AP flour and Semolina.  The package called for 6 large eggs to be added.  All I have are medium sized eggs and the dough was a little dry to start. (I’m okay. I have a healthy self image.)

Cuisinart Food ProcessorI tried to mix the dough in my new Cuisinart food processor which sports a dough kneading feature. In Cuisinart’s DVD it works great with baguettes and soft doughs but not so much with this pasta recipe.  So I took extra time and care running the dough through the pasta rollers, on the widest settings, until I got a smooth elastic sheet to make my raviolis.  I would insert the dough into the rollers and collect it as it came out. After folding it into thirds I would would reintroduce the pasta to the rollers (Rollers – Pasta, Pasta – Rollers) at a 90° angle. I spent about half and hour running sheets through the rollers to get the right consistency.  Next time I’ll use my mixer with a dough hook.

Lesson learned.

Pasta Sheet

Filling these little beatsies took a gentle hand as too much filling spills on to the sealing edges and can cause a blow out when boiling.

Egg Wash

Butternut Squash Filling

After placing a sheet of pasta on the ravioli mold and making the depressions for the filling, egg wash is required. We applied this to the entire surface of the bottom and top sheet of pasta. This is literally the glue that binds the two together.  A little gentle pressing with the hands then a roller to cut the edges and voila!  Ravioli, Tom Fool Cookery style.

Edge Cutting Ravioli

I cooked these little guys in gently boiling salted water until they float evenly on the surface. Using a small strainer I fished them gently from the water, tapped the strainer bottom on a towel to remove excess moisture then plated them up!  Hmm, perhaps a little brown butter to top them off. What do you think?


Eat Well and Smile Often!!



Tom Whining


p.s. I suggest enjoying them with a little wine.

Dinner for 12? . . . No Problem!!

Fingerling Potato and Feta Cheese PizzaWhen you have great help, great friends and a great pizza sauce recipe . . . No Problem!!

A few years ago my friend AJ and I were sharing a one pot meal at her house lamenting about how hard it was to gather the ‘Usual Suspects’ for dinner. Scheduling of our busy lives seemed to make it impractical for us to gather on an irregular basis. So, The Second Sunday Supper Set was born. Each month, on the second Sunday, a different friend would host a gathering and the rules are simple: There are no rules. The entire event was up to the host. It could be a formal sit down dinner, a pleasant day picnicking in the park, a potluck meal or anything in between. I must say, it has been a raving success. Since we started, we’ve added a few couples to the group and now we sit at 12 as a regular number and having a set schedule made it easy for everyone to plan ahead. So, if you find yourself not seeing your friends as often as you like then I invite you to join us with your own dinner . . . every Second Sunday works for me.

But! To the meal!

April is my month to host and I was happy to do it. Pizza has been on my mind and ever since Suzanne and I worked out the pizza sauce recipe I have been dying to share it with my friends. We shared 4 different pizzas this go round: Chicken Pesto, Fingerling Potatoes and Feta Cheese, Pizza Margarita and Fennel Sausage with Mushrooms. I don’t know what it is about pizza that makes you keep coming back for more; but the trail is worn between the dinner table and my kitchen counter where fresh, hot pizzas made their Sunday night debut. A happy crowd with some of the liveliest conversation I have ever heard. I was pleased my guests stuck around