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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Homemade Ravioli

Dinner Menu, September 18, 2010

Mixed baby greens salad
with a simple, traditional balsamic dressing. Mixed to perfection with the hands of innocent infants (sweatshop). Just kidding (I hope).

Homemade and handmade Focaccia with rosemary. The rosemary was homegrown and adds an aromatic texture likened to the air of the gods.

Montecucco ravioli
A traditional Italian ravioli brought to you by the Montecucco family. The filling is spinach and bison barese, a spicy Italian sausage (made by Leanne in her apprenticeship at Dai Due butchershop), topped with a wild mushroom bison red sauce and parmesan cheese. Bison were harmed in the making of this sauce.

Mushroom and tofu feta ravioli
With a wild mushroom red sauce (vegan). But don’t hold that against it. It’s pretty dang good.

Butternut squash with sage
In a browned butter-sage sauce with Tamari-roasted squash seeds. The sage will taste twice as delicious because we stole it from a garden.

Watermelon, Tuscan cantaloupe and Honeydew.

Thank you for making two thousand ravioli with us. Wow!

Every year my friend Jeff and his mom's side of the family, the Montecucco's, spend an entire day making raviolis by hand according to their old family recipes. They make the filling (aka ping) & dough from scratch, and then they roll out, fill & cut the raviolis all by hand; a process which requires quite the assembly line, which explains why everyone in the family comes over to help.

Since Jeff moved to Austin, he's been recreating the ravioli-making affair & feast with his friends here. This year, I jumped at the chance to host the party at my home. We rearranged the furniture to accomdate 16+ of our friends, each who took part in the ravioli-making process. We definitely set a new record for the amount of food made in one day in my cozy kitchen, exceeding our goal of 2000 raviolis!

One of my contributions to the endeavor was to come up with a ping recipe for the mushroom raviolis that would be a tasty vegan version. The result was so delicious that I even used the leftover ping as a sandwich spread, a salad topper, a dip; basically I just came up with any means of eating more!

Mushroom Tofu Feta Ping
Yield: 600 small ravioli; 40 servings

Tofu Feta
48 oz. firm tofu, drained
1 c white miso
1/3 c lemon juice
1/3 c ume vinegar
1/4 c dried basil
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt & ground pepper, to taste

Crumble drained tofu into large chunks. In a seperate bowl, mix the miso through the garlic until smooth. Fold the crumbled tofu into the miso mixture until evenly distributed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill several hours or overnight.

Mushroom Tofu Feta Ping
1/3 cup olive oil
15 cloves garlic
3 lb white button mushrooms
2 cups fresh basil
1/8 cup fresh rosemary
1/4 cup arrowroot, diluted in cold water
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute briefly without letting it brown. Add mushrooms and saute 5 minutes, then add fresh herbs and saute another 5 minutes. Add arrowroot and mix well, cooking until there is no more mushroom liquid in your pan. Salt and pepper to taste.

Blend together tofu feta with mushroom saute in a food processor to a smooth consistency.


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