Friday, May 28, 2010

Egg Yolk Ravioli



Sit down for a plate of one of these with me.

Smell in the browned butter, the fresh grassy greens, the salty yolky goodness. Then, dig in. Feel that smoothness of the pasta; the slight tension, the toothsomeness of the freshly made dough; the faintly clean taste of the parsley in the dough. Then there is the creamy ricotta, the bite of a hit of garlic, the earthiness of the spinach and chard filling. And, then, revel in the yolk, coddled ever so gently, its unctuous glory bringing it all together.

Egg Yolk Ravioli

Pasta Dough:
On the counter, put a pile of flour (about 2 cups)
Make a well, add 2 eggs & 1 T spinach, drop of olive oil and then start mixing slowly. Add water if needed to get a dough. Knead. Let rest 1 hr. Roll out.

1 T olive oil
½ cup minced onion
½ lb spinach
½ lb swiss chard
celery leaves & celery salt
black peper
4-5 medium cloves of garlic
1 T dried basil
1 lb ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella
¼ parmesan


To make the ravioli, roll out the dough into sheets. Place a little tablespoon of the filling, make a well, add one yolk, cover with dough. Seal the two sheets with water. Cut into ravioli. Boil, and jump for joy.

Also, this week we are eating meatless for @Lornayee's #meatlessweek. Check out more.

And finally, we are also submitting this to the Royal Foodie Joust, from the Leftover Queen.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


This one is in honor of the three soon to be married girls in our lives. Married life is comforting and confounding.

We hope every happiness and joy to all of you for so many years to come that we all lose count. And, we promise not to embarrass you at your weddings—after that all bets are off.

We made a few small regular ones with caramel cream and chocolate hearts. And then we made one very tiny chocolate one (1.25 inches tall) for Belle's dollhouse .





( The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri. )

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Making Cavatelli


I love to think of that first Italian chef who looked down at his work surface and pronounced his novel form of pasta, strozzapreti. That particular chef might have had an anti-religious bent as that shape translates priest chokers. There are the angel’s hairs (oh if they should all be fine curly haired beauties), partridge eyes, butterflies and quills.
A child’s life is about naming and making sense of the names. When told that a fava bean is kidney shaped, our Belle mentioned her particular adoration for said organ. As gross anatomy is not a routine part of preschool and offal are not particularly popular at our table, we were curious about this endorsement. Kidneys are baby cats, we soon learned, and she loves cats.

For dinner last night, we made fava beans and cavatelli. After I demonstrated the making of cavatelli, Belle asked if she too could make mouse-shaped pasta.
Making Cavatelli
Mouse you say? If you are not familiar with the insipid pulp with their computer generated graphics and sound effects that masquerades as educational literature, consider yourself lucky. In this literature, the predators lay down arms and play hand in hand with their former foes completely at odds with nature and good sense. Lions and lambs frolic, often enrobed in matching ensembles. Sharks swim alongside clown fish (you know who I mean.) And, cats are friends with mice. So, if there are kittens for dinner, should they not matched with their rodent allies? Hey, if angels are blond, why shouldn’t mice be dinner?

And on to the forming of the cavatelli.

Make a long snake of dough by rolling it along the counter. Or dangle it over the counter and rock the dough back and forth in your palms. We found the latter was easier for little hands.
Making Cavatelli
Cut off pieces with your pastry cutter or else pinch of bits. Again the latter was better for little hands.
Making Cavatelli
Place the dough against a gnocchi board. Cut against it at a 45 degree angle with a butter knife. OR, for little hands, punch down with your thumb.
Making Cavatelli
Then peel back with your thumb. This part is a little easier for Mom to do.
Making Cavatelli

Boil in salted water until they pop up like jolly pillows (3 minutes) or else freeze.

Today is day two of our #meatlessweek . I am doing this as part of @lornayee 's meatless week.
We ate pasta salad of sorts.
Cavatelli Salad

Basically, no recipe here: combine equal parts of cooked chickpeas (i cooked dried ones in the slowcooker), cooked cavatelli, with a handful of green bell pepper, chopped purple onion, pepperocini, marinated artichokes, carrots and raw peas. Dress with a combination of grapeseed vegannaise, red wine vinegar, basil, oregano, and finely diced pepperocini. This was delicious if not lovely. It is the only I have cooked, and I have been attempting to cook since I was in kindergarten, that my father has genuinely said is good. He said it three times in between bites.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fava bean, Kale, Spinach and Dandelion Green Cavatelli

Fava Bean Cavatelli

A while ago, Belle began to start her requests to me with “don’t say no, Mommy.” Clearly, I had formed a reputation, and by three year old standards, it wasn’t good. I am going to blame my overly strict ways on series of factors--a naturally bossy demeanor, a past career as an educator, and a fear of my children ending up on any episode of Wild On, Intervention or Price is Right. (Even if I am from Cleveland, its not like I want my gals, jumping up and down, braless in front of Drew Carey. Or maybe, I am getting Wild on and Price is Right confused.)

Nonetheless, we have started a new calmer, gentler mommy administration here. Some rules are still in strong effect—no pulling, kicking and biting. The rest we are trying to let slide. All that discipline sometimes gets in the way of being with your child.
Fava Bean Cavatelli
Fava Bean Cavatelli
Tonight fava beans needed to be shelled. Frankly, the whole procedure can be a bit of bore coupled with a back ache. As we set up to shell, Belle learned quickly that a well-placed pinch turns the soft pods into bean rocket launchers. Soon, spring green pods were flying wildly across the kitchen. Tiger was overjoyed by the festive display. The pre-dinner hijinks got the job done (and Mommy even got one all the way in the sink.)
Fava Bean Cavatelli

Homemade cavatelli making tomorrow

Fava bean, Kale, Spinach and Dandelion Green Cavatelli

Set water to boil.
Before water is boiling, sautee:
6 cloves of garlic (use cold oil and heat slowly to medium)
½ a small red onion in rings

2 large handfuls of freshly shelled fava beans (3/4 cup or so) and sautee until tender

Put in roughly chopped greens (about 1 bunch each), sautee until just wilted.

Cook homemade cavatelli for 3 minutes. Fish out of the water and add to the veggies. Sautee, add a little pasta water, and then cover. Finish with olive oil, red pepper and thinly sliced red onions.
Fava Bean Cavatelli
This post is part of @lornayee from The Cookbook Chronicle's #meatlessweek ; and I decided to join in because I heard about it from @celiacteen . Go enjoy their posts as well as the others lettign the pigs off the hook this week.

And, for fun, I thought I would send this over to Presto Pasta Night started by Ruth of 4 Every Kitchen and hosted this week by Rachel The Crispy Cook.