Friday, May 13, 2011

Homemade Ravioli, and Final Review for Dave's Gourmet

The final pasta sauce i've been lucky to try from Dave's Gourmet is the Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce. I don't think i can choose a favorite between this sauce, the Organic Red Heirloom or the Masala Marinara they are all so good and unique! I paired the butternut squash sauce with some homemade ravioli filled with mushrooms and ricotta. So. Good.

Making homemade ravioli does take some time, but it's so rewarding and delicious. The method is easy, just a bit time consuming and much quicker with an extra set of helping hands. I filled the ravioli with chard, onions and fresh herbs from the garden, finely diced mushrooms, garlic and some white wine. Simmer this mix until most the liquid is evaporated and mix with ricotta and season as needed. For the pasta, i mixed 4 or 5 eggs with about 3 cups flour, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp olive oil. Mix until well integrated (it can be tough to knead!), divide into 4 or so chunks and let rest for 30 minutes (while you cook the filling). Once the dough has rested it will be easier to roll. I have a pasta maker which really makes the rolling easier. The key is to roll the pasta through about 4 times each chunk at the widest setting before beginning to decrease the thickness. Keep the pasta from drying out by laying out on a very lightly dampened towel and working quickly. The pasta rests sufficiently in the time it takes to get from the first strip to the last and back again. Once you have several uniformish strips, cut with a pizza cutter and form raviolis thusly:

Lay the raviolis on a floury surface and be sure they don't stick together by sprinkling a bit of flour on the table when you're shaping them. Use a bit of water on the inside to help the pasta stick to itself and be sure to press both sides of the pasta with the fork. When you're ready for dinner bring a bit pot of water to a boil with salt and toss those raviolis in. Let the water come back to a boil and serve. It will take some time and the raviolis will want to leap from the pot.

I invited one of my best friends and her man friend over to join in on the feast and they brought along a lovely salad with things from their garden. It was a truly delicious meal and seemed to be enjoyed by all parties. The butternut squash sauce is really interesting tasting. It's sweeter than tomato only sauce, but also tomatoey and tangy with hints of spices i couldn't peg my finger on. I highly recommend the sauce, and recommend making ravioli with friends - it's so fun to make a meal from scratch and share it with loved ones. Sharing really makes the time and effort much more rewarding.

What's your favorite meal to make with/for friends?

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Thank you so much for your feedback, especially if you've cooked one of my recipes or tried one of my tips: let me know how it turned out!