Monday, September 24, 2012

Ravioli and life and stuff.

I apologize for the crappy picture...


I am at the end of my "Backburner Posts"--old posts I have saved on here for periods where I don't have time to make something new--meaning I really need to get my butt in gear, because I feel like I'm losing visitors in my absence. I also haven't been a very good commenter, so why shouldn't I be hearing crickets on my nothing-posts?

I'm a bad bloggy friend, I apologize. I'll be better, soon. I'm trying to make it up to you with a fantastic ravioli recipe though, so please take it as a peace offering :)

Pondering what to do with 30 lbs of apples
My plan for the moment is: find a suitable chair for my desk so I can sit down and edit the RAW image files I have (beer bread, channa masala, black cherry tart, homemade granola, not to mention what I've been doing with the 30 lbs of apples I picked two weeks ago...) since it'll involve using a mouse and dealing with how slow Lightroom makes my computer. I've been neglecting my blog, and while I have good reasons--in two plays, moved to a new apartment, one of my photography lights broke, it's fall and lots to do in New England--I feel like I need to get back in the game before I lose my momentum with the blog.

Me and my roommate at The Big E--food review to come!

The truth is, I love this blog. I love cooking, and I love writing, and if I could craft a career for myself that incorporates these two things I would be a happy lady. So I need to nurture this little blog and build my audience and expand my skills. Sitting around eating nachos in my down time, despite how exhausted I may be from a 4 hour dance rehearsal for The Rocky Horror Show, is not going to cut it.

I have a kitchen now, I need to USE IT. Plus with a Halloween party coming up where I plan on making lots of spooky food, AND a tribute to Johnny Appleseed this Friday, I will have some fun fodder for upcoming posts!

My other roommate, Baxter

These raviolis were made months ago. My friend has a pasta maker and it is absolutely fabulous and I think he got it at a Salvation Army because this thing is definitely from the 70s. But it works like an absolute CHARM and there really is nothing better than homemade pasta--no preservatives or fillers, just pure pasta-y goodness! For these raviolis we put a handful of arugala in the mix, hoping it would give some of its peppery flavor to the dough. Sadly arugula isn't quite as potent when it's not in raw form, but it did make the pasta a lovely green color.

When I'm not at my friend's place with his pasta maker, I use wonton wrappers as ravioli stand-ins. They work really well and because they're thin they really let the fillings shine. Just be sure to sear them a little bit in the pan, otherwise they can get a little bloaty and sticky. Also they don't keep as well in the fridge, so you have to eat most of it in one go.


These are arugala-infused ravioli stuffed with goat cheese, ricotta, sundried tomatoes, spinach, and chicken, topped with a pesto cream sauce. So filling, I couldn't eat more than four, but so so good. We improvised practically all of this but I pieced together bits from recipes I found to have something to show you all.

Homemade Ravioli with Goat Cheese Chicken Filling and Pesto Cream Sauce
(combination improvised by me, this recipe adapted from here)

Dough
  • 3 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water

Filling
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (get as much excess moisture out as you can)
  • 1/4 cup romano cheese
  • 3 tbs goat cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup chicken, shredded
  • Handful of spinach, cooked until wilted and chopped fine
  • salt and pepper

Sauce
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded, mild cheese
  • 1 cup pesto, or more to taste (homemade pesto is best)

Directions:

Filling: 
-In a large bowl, mix all filling ingredients together until smooth, set aside filling until needed.

Dough: 
-Sift flour and salt together.

-Place flour mixture in a food processor and start on low. Drop eggs into the food processor one at a time and blend,  gradually adding enough warm water to make a stiff dough.

-When dough pulls from the edges of the food processor, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead dough well, until smooth; cover the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes.

-Cut dough in half and put through pasta press until desired thickness is reached--follow the directions on your pasta press, I cannot remember them right now. Or, for directions on how to do so without a press, click here.

-Drop about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoonfuls of filling about 1 1/2 inches apart all along the dough sheets.

-When the sheet of dough is fully dotted with dabs of filling mixture, cover filling with other sheet of dough. Using your fingers, gently press dough between each dab of filling to seal it. Cut ravioli into squares with a (zig-zag edged) pastry cutter, or very sharp knife. You can get the scalloped edges by pressing with the tines of a fork as well.

-Drop ravioli into 6 to 8 quarts of boiling, salted water and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until dough is tender. Remove cooked ravioli from pot carefully with a skimmer or a large slotted spoon, and drain well.

Sauce: 
-Melt the butter and create a roux by slowly whisking in the flour. Once fully incorporated and no lumps are present, slowly add the milk and whisk. 

-Allow milk to thicken until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Slowly add cheese and pesto, stirring until incorporated. If not thickened to your liking, use a combination of cornstarch and water (a few tablespoons) and mix into the sauce until thick.


Aaaand just because I need to keep raising money for things...

-Have you donated to my Walk Now For Autism Speaks? I am more than halfway to my goal!

-My play I'm in is still raising money through our kickstarter for The Rocky Horror Show! We are halfway to our goal but if we don't make the full amount we don't get a penny. So if you live in the Western Mass area and want to see an amazing show, why not buy your tickets through the kickstarter? 

-My birthday is coming up, so if anyone asks I'd like two EGO lights, an ice cream maker, a crock pot, and a Le Crueset Dutch Oven... or anything Le Crueset, hah... I mean, if my mom asks or something...

14 comments:

  1. #1-omg I love your earrings
    #2-I love you still, it's OK
    #3-umm...I'll love you even more if you gimme some of that there ravioli, k? :D

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    Replies
    1. The leather feathers? Aren't they awesome?? They're my current favorite pair. I got them at this bizarre little store near the theater I act at and they're made from old accordion leather and next time I have some cash to waste I'm getting another pair. I'll try to find the website if you want to check them out :)

      Thanks for the love! I feel especially bad for my usual commenters like you because I have been so bad at commenting myself! I'll try to find time to make my rounds later today :)

      I wish you could have some of the ravioli! But you should try to make some, and blog about it ;)

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  2. Oh, I've been a bad bloggy friend, too, so don't feel bad. Love this recipe! I love goat cheese. I wish my husband shared my passion for it. :)

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  3. Oh my gosh, these raviolis have everything I love!! Pesto, goat cheese, pasta....yum! Oh, and I understand going through hiatuses with the blogging...sometimes life just gets so busy. I'm sure your fans will stick by you :)

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  4. Don't feel bad, we all have those times when blogging is simply overwhelming...I always give advice to rest, energize and come back when you can.
    Now those homemade raviolis are so yummy!I could eat whole plateful and have a space for some more LOL! Great post, looking forward to see more!

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  5. The filling in these ravioli looks great! I love goat cheese. I'm looking forward to Johnny Appleseed and Halloween party recipes! Sounds fun!

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  6. The ravioli sound amazing! What a delectable filling! I still haven't made homemade pasta. Shame on me.

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  7. We have a real life outside of this blog world and sometimes we just have no choice but to slow down on blogging. :) Everyone goes through that so don't feel bad! (I'm telling you so because I'm in the same situation... very behind with everything) We love ravioli and this looks good!

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  8. Yuuummm apples!! I have the same thing waiting for me on my memory card. Gah, cannot be bothered! I absolutely adore homemade ravioli. I make extra and freeze for when I get a craving :)

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  9. First of all, I just want to say thanks so much for all of your support with regards to my dad! Very sweet. I'm just trying to deal as best I can at the moment and get back to some semblance of normalcy.

    These ravioli look delicious! Homemade ravs are the best, don't you think?

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  10. Delicious looking ravioli, I like the filling with goat cheese. Happy upcoming birthday!

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  11. wow! I am so impressed that you made homemade raviolis! just wow!

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  12. As soon as I figure out if I can have pine nuts, I am going to be all over this. You KNOW how much I love goat cheese!

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