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Monday, July 24, 2017

No Tears on these Pillows

I'm always left with ingredients after cooking up a meal, be it portions of minced beef, eggs, lemon and even cooked sauces such as pasta sauce. Not being one to throw away perfectly good ingredients (and not letting it rot away/spoil in the fridge) I tend to once in awhile plant myself in the kitchen at some weird hour and get cooking.

After cooking the orecchiette I had left over ricotta cheese; two things came to mind: ricotta pancakes or stuffed spinach and ricotta ravioli! Having ample floor, eggs and left over pasta sauce, the choice was clear. At 10pm one evening last week after running around the tennis court like a hamster and attending an evening conference call I got myself set to making ravioli.

There's nothing hard about making pasta.. all you need is a good mixer/kneader; eggs and flour. My ratio of floor (pick whichever type you want to choose.. I had leftover plain flour) to a large egg is 100g flour to one 60g egg.

 
Without getting into how to make the pasta itself (I've covered that in previous posts in my blog) here's what I used to make the ravioli filling:

Ingredients
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic (minced)
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese (you can use more if you have more)
  • Pinch of salt
 
Directions
  1. Heat olive oil on medium heat, brown garlic slightly
  2. Add spinach and cook covered, stirring occasionally, until spinach becomes wilted, add lemon juice
  3. Cook for 5 or 10 more minutes uncovered until all liquid evaporates
  4. Chop cooked spinach finely and move to a bowl. Add parmigiano reggiano and ricotta cheeses, salt to taste and mix well. Add more salt if necessary.
  5. Using a pasta roller roll out sheets of pre-made pasta until setting no. 7 on your machine
  6. Scoop teaspoon fill portions of the spinach and cheese mixture and shape them into a semi-tight ball
  7. Place on sheet of pasta approximately 1/2 inch from the top and edge of the pasta sheet and then 1 inch between each ball
  8. With the second sheet of rolled pasta place over the top of the original sheet and carefully flatten around the spinach ball to remove as much air from between each sheet of pasta
  9. When you are done shaping ravioli, bring a big pot of water to boil, add ravioli and cook for 5 minutes, then drain. Or, alternatively, freeze ravioli until you’re ready to cook them.
 
I made enough for two batches. I combined the ravioli with some left over sausage and meatball sauce which I'd made previously; and with the second iteration I also added a sous vide egg.

 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Earful of Pasta

So my weekend diner and I were out and about a few weeks ago and chanced upon some orecchiette pasta, you know those small little ears of goodness! They happen to be my diners favorite type of pasta, so me being me I took it upon myself to try cooking a dish of these up for her this weekend.

I found these following recipe from Whole Nourishment  added a few little things to luxe it up a bit more (thinly sliced jamon for one). It's a great dish that is happily cook again and again.

 

Orecchiette with Asparagus, Ricotta, and Lemon

Serves 5-6

  • 1 lb. (500 gr) orecchiette
  • 1 mug of reserved pasta water
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2-4 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 1 small bunch (500 gr) asparagus
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 250 gr ricotta
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful of fresh herbs, chopped (dill, basil, mint, parsley, or a combination works well)
  • Grating of parmesan (optional)
  1. Bring a large pot of pasta water to the boil. Salt water and drop pasta. Cook 1-2 minutes shy of package directions for al dente pasta. Don't forget to reserve a mug full of pasta water just before draining pasta!!
  2. In the meantime, heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add oil, garlic, zest from the entire lemon, and chili flakes. Sauté for a few minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Snap away woody stems of asparagus and cut stalks into coins. Add to skillet along with 1/4 tsp. salt. Sauté for 3 minutes, or until asparagus is crisp tender.
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in ricotta, juice from half the lemon, and a few splashes of pasta water to loosen the sauce. Add orecchiette, the remaining 1/4 tsp. of salt and a few generous grinds of black pepper. Add more pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce. (I ended up using 3/4 of a standard mug size of pasta water). Taste, adjust for seasoning, adding more salt or lemon if desired.
  5. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of herbs and an optional grating of parmesan

 


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