Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Ravioli

Actually, it was more like Saturday and Sunday ravioli.

I decided to make homemade ravioli this weekend. My inspiration was the Urban Italian cookbook. I did take some liberties with the recipe (Carmellini's recipe didn't call for venison; mine did). This was a rather involved process, so I spread it out over two days. Here is what I did over the weekend to prepare this:

Day One:

1. Stewed some venison and a little bit of pork with carrot, celery, onion, garlic, diced tomato, tomato paste, fresh rosemary, red wine, and chicken stock until the meat was very tender and most of the liquid evaporated. Cooled the mixture completely, refrigerated overnight.

2. Made the pasta dough, starting it out in my stand mixer, eventually turning it out onto a board and worked until everything came together. Wrapped in plastic wrap, refrigerated overnight.

Day Two:

1. Took the cooled venison, pork, and vegetables and ran everything though a meat grinder, creating a finely textured mixture. Added some egg yolk to bind and a healthy dose of Parmigiano-Reggiano for flavor.

2. Rolled the meat mixture into small little meatballs (approximately 1 T. of meat to each ball). Covered and refrigerated until needed.

3. Rolled out the pasta dough through a pasta roller, rolling it incrementally thinner until I reached the thinnest setting. Placed the meat at approximately 1 inch intervals. Moistened the edges with water, folded the dough over, and sealed the ravioli, trying to work all of the air out of them. Cut with a pastry wheel. (Note: part takes a LONG time if you are doing it by yourself!)

Freshly made ravioli on the cutting board



4. Made spaghetti (this has absolutely nothing to do with the ravioli; I just had a lot of extra dough, so I ran some of it through the pasta cutter attachment to create spaghetti and froze it for later use! Moving on...)

Bonus spaghetti made with the extra dough



5. Made the tomato sauce; just a basic marinara with tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, crushed red pepper, fresh basil, fresh parsley, and some dried Italian seasoning.

6. Boiled the ravioli for a few minutes until they floated, and tossed them in a pan with some of the tomato sauce to coat. Served them up with grated some fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top. Enjoyed them immensely, wondering all the while if what Giada De Laurentiis was cooking for dinner tonight was as tasty as this (I am guessing it was, but still, this was pretty darn good!).

Homemade venison ravioli with tomato sauce



Yes, this was a lot of work. But this ain't exactly Chef Boyardee, either. It was totally worth it.

Until next time,

Jean
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