Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ravioli fest 2008

each year my husbands family gathers to make hundreds of raviolis to enjoy over the holiday meals. the tradition used to be carried out by his grandmother alone, which is amazing, but once she left us we took over the hard work and have been doing it ever since.

in the beginning it was difficult, since she never shared the recipe. but over the years we have tasted, tweaked, and refined the steps to as close to the original as possible. the pasta was rife with difficulties when we first tried our hands, first it was too tough, then too loose. we weren't sure whether to use eggs, or just water...we
were really confused. however, over the years i've gotten better at cooking, and at italian in particular, so the pasta is no longer a struggle. the filling is the traditional mix of spinach and cheese, and never ceases to please. we serve these with a meat sauce, which is a nice compliment.

the volume of ingredients that goes into this massive production is staggering. we used 17.5 cups of flour and 20 eggs to create the 5 batches of pasta dough. a dozen more eggs went into the filling, along with 5 pounds of cheese and several pounds of spinach. i don't know how to cut these measurements for a weeknight ravioli fling, but may do so one day...so stay tuned.

we each have our separate tasks in the assembly line. my mother in law removes the stems from the spinach, grates the cheese, and adds the eggs to make the filling. i make the pasta dough by hand on the counter and then press it into sheets with the help of my my kitchenaid mixer. my mother in law and sister in law fill the pasta sheets with carefully measured amounts of filling, and cuts the raviolis out, and then my husband crimps the edges. we have several runners who lay the completed raviolis out on tea towels in the cool basement to stage before they are packaged up and frozen in serving sizes to be brought out at each holiday dinner.

since i don't have a recipe, i wanted to leave you with a photo of what we did with most of the 6th bach of pasta dough. we made pasta for my mother in law and her husband tony to enjoy later in the week. we left the delicate strands to dry on their pot rack.


Live.Love.Eat said...


This is truly awesome and amazing. I am so happy that you have such a beautiful tradition with your family. I have nothing like that at all. I think my family would kill each other if we had to really work with one another. But we're good at just eating and drinking together. Ha ha. I am in awe of this. This is really awesome Courtney. You should be so proud!!!!!!! And as for the ravioli, I love the filling that I would just want this with a little buttah :)

Julie said...

That is some serious ravioli making. It also sounds like a fun way to spend time with your extended family.