Saturday, September 20, 2008


I know one is not supposed to experiment on guests. But I'm ignoring that rule. We are having guests this weekend and I'm preparing raviolis for them. I've never made raviolis before, hence the experimentation angle.

The ravioli making scene. Lots going on.

I have made pasta, so I'm not worried about that part. It's the execution that worries me. Since I've read that you can make the raviolis ahead of time and refrigerate them before serving, I decided to do that a day ahead. And here is my progress.

I made the standard pasta that I've always made. Two eggs, 1 1/2 cups flour, some salt and a few drops of water. So far so good.

My big rectangular raviolis, before cooking.

The filling is some roasted home-grown pumpkin, improved with a bit of butter, chopped sage, grated parmesan cheese, nutmeg, an egg yolk, and salt and pepper. The trick, of course, was forming the raviolis without making a mess.

Three raviolis.

My raviolis are a bit large... That is to say that they're more pasta than filling. But that's ok. I plan to serve them as an entrée, three to a plate, with sage butter and ground roasted hazelnuts. That should do as a good first course, don't you think?

I pre-cooked them in boiling water and now they're in the fridge. Just before serving, they will finish cooking in boiling water, then they will be dressed with the sage butter sauce and hazelnuts. I'm crossing my fingers.

And please stop snickering...


  1. Your raviolis look just fine to me. Wish I were the one who was coming to see you today ... (and eat them!). Martine

  2. I wish I were your company- those ravioli look so good!

  3. What is the filling made of?

  4. They look fine to me as well. I'm sure you've already worked this out, but the tricks to ravioli in my experience are 1) don't try to get more than a rounded teaspoon's worth of filling in each, 2) try not to seal much of an air pocket in them, as this will expand mightily and 3) get the pressure of the fork around the edge just right - not so hard as to make a hole, but firm enough to form a complete seal. Surprisingly, this last one is probably the hardest to achieve.

  5. PS A tip for using up all those little scraps of pasta one inevitably gets: lay them out on a tea towel to dry to a more leathery texture, then snip them up into little triangles with the scissors, pop them in a bag and put in the freezer. Add handfuls to soups and stews e.g. minestrone.

  6. I make it a rule to experiment on guests. It's a good test of:
    a) whether they are honest
    b) whether they like me even if my cooking sucks
    c) all of the above

    Bon appetit!

  7. martine, they looked funny but they tasted good!

    evelyn, the next time you visit I'll have the process down pat!

    chm, pumpkin!

    susan, yes, you're spot on. I wish we had talked before I made them! And that's a great idea for the scraps.

    cheryl, choice "c" !

  8. Walt, when I said they looked fine, I didn't mean they looked funny ;-)And I am sure they were delicious, especially as you had the courage to make them for your friend Peter, who's is an accomplished chef himself. Enjoy your Sunday! Martine

  9. Walt – I'll email you a pasta recipe I think you will find fun to make. Not ravioli, but really stylish.

  10. And this was just the first course? I would want to make a meal of these! Ravioli making is a huge deal at my house and a family affair, since one of my sons is insanely fond of it and we make masses in an assembly line situation. I've never had pumpkin ravioli but I've made Giada's butternut squash lasagna, probably along the same lines tastewise - it was sublime.....

  11. ooohhh butternut squash lasagna! That sounds great. I'm going to have to check it out in Giada's listings.

    Glad you all had a good time, Walt :)


  12. I for one, could do without these posts on ravioli and tarts and roasted this and that. It is doing nothing for my assault on appetite control. If you have to talk about it, could you you at least forgo the photos. Merciless.

  13. sage and pumpkin and toasted hazelnuts? i'm cryin' here.

  14. martine, I know you didn't!

    susan, thanks for the recipe!

    quinn, the pasta wasn't flavored with the pumpkin; it was just plain. I stuffed the ravs with the pumpkin mixture. I also got this idea from Giada!

    judy, me too!

    papadesdeux, will power, ben, will power.

    purejuice, a good fall combination, eh?


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