Friday, January 29, 2010

Ravioli and Panna Cotta

So I like to cook. I am not organized enough to run a food blog although, sometimes I pretend this is. Ha ha! I love trying new recipes and lots of different kinds of ethnic foods. If it has sauce on it, chances are i will probably love it. Ditto with spicy foods (Thai, Indian, Mexican). I also consider myself above average in the Italian cooking department. That is what happens when you are married to a true Italian. Ravioli however has always been a thorn in my side. I LOVE them. Order them out at restaurants anytime I get a chance. They are always so dang time consuming and hard to make. Then someone told me about a Ravioli frame. OH MAN! Why have I never heard of this before??!! Seriously, my inlaws and I need to have a talk about that. So as you can see in the picture above, it looks almost like an ice cube tray. But under the dough is the zigzag lines for the edges of the ravioli. You lay the dough out, put in the filling (like the picture), lay another piece of dough on top. Then you roll over it with a rolling pin and it seals and cuts it for you. Then you turn it over and pop the Ravioli's out. DONE! My recipe below made about 50-60 raviolis. I froze 25 of them and cooked the rest for dinner. So all in all, it made two full meals.

Here are the recipes if you are interested in trying this at home.

Pasta Dough
3 1/4 cups flour (white or semolina)
2 eggs
3/4 cup water (add water only as needed)
Mix dough and egg, then add water a little as a time as needed. Dough should be firm, not gooey. Refrigerate for 1 hour to 1 day. You can also water tightly and freeze until ready to use.

Ravioli filling
1 lb. hamburger browned
1 lb. Italian sausage cooked
large handful fresh parsley chopped
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (or crushed croutons)
1 egg
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup tomato sauce

Cook meats and let cool. Run them and the parsley through a food processor to get it tiny. Mix in a bowl with remaining ingredients. Add only enough tomato sauce to get the mixture to stick together. You don't want it soupy. You will probably have extra meat leftover. You can make a sauce with it or freeze it for later. It would also be good stuffed in a pepper and baked in the oven.

Sauce for Pasta
8ozs mushrooms chopped in big bite size chunks
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon oregano
salt and pepper

Sautee mushrooms in a little olive oil and salt and pepper. when all the liquid is out add the tomato sauce and oregano. Serve over Ravioli.

For dessert Panna Cotta (cooked cream). This is divine! Like pudding only better.
1/3 cup milk
1 envelope of Gelatin (.25oz)
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Bring the cream and sugar to a boil on the stove. Stir so it doesn't burn. In a side dish, mix the milk and gelatin. Add to the cream on the stove. Cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cool and refrigerate for about 4 hours. It will set up in the fridge. Or if you are impatient like me. Put it in the freezer in a glass bowl with tight lid and it will be done in about 1 hour. :) Serve in dishes with fresh berries as topping.

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