All posts tagged: Pasta

Uova da raviolo, the mother of all ravioli

In a previous post I’ve written about the anecdotical assumptions on the history of tortellini and Lucrezia Borgia’s navel. This time I’ll show you how to make an epic and rich raviolo. Uova da raviolo is a a single raviolo with a ricotta and spinach nest and a raw egg yolk that when boiled and lightly fried in butter cooks gently but remains tender and gooey, adding a luscious creamy texture that balances the freshness of the cheesy next and earthiness of the brown butter sauce. There is nothing complicated about this recipe, if anything it takes practice to achieve a thin, even pasta sheet and be careful when boiling it, otherwise is a straight forward, comforting dish at its best. Quick note on the name, in Italian the nouns ending in o in their singular form, change to i in plural. Raviolo = singular > Ravioli = plural. Just like gnocco > gnocchi; spaghetto > spaghetti, etc.) On with the recipe. To make 6 ravioli to feed 3… or 2, you will need:  100g strong wheat flour 2 …

Delizia! The epic story of the Italians and their food

By John Dickie 2007 John has built an intriguing, complex and unexpected narrative around Italian food. Food as a cultural product manifests so much more than evocative traditions or idyllic family scenes. Food as life itself adapts to survive. It says so much more about raw hunger and bold desire than any other social manifestation. Because unlike anything else, we need food to live, whatever it takes, however it comes.   The first myth that Dickie debunks is the fact that there’s no such thing as Italian Food, like all national cuisines it is but a blend of many regional and local culinary traditions and a good deal of imaginary and propaganda. Second, we often think of Italian food as being part of a millenary tradition of bucolic abundance from the green Italian countryside, however the truth is that even when the ingredients came from the country, the people with the power to appropriate and transform them into a delicacy by a simple but artful combination were the inhabitants of the cities. Italian food is …

Tripoline Stroganoff !

No doubt there’s an equivalent of Mrs Beeton in every country (or so I’d like to believe). In the case of imperial Russia there was Elena Ivanovna Molokhovets who wrote the famous: A Gift to Young Housewives. I know *I know* we’re neither young – nor … Anyway! Apparently we owe Mr. Alexander Grigorievich Stroganoff of Odessa the famous invention of beef and mushrooms cooked in a creamy sauce with dill …mmmm! Although the original dish -dates from the late 1800s- was usually served with either steamed white rice or mashed potatoes >needless to say that neither has European origins However, apparently nowadays the most common version of this dish is served with tagliatelle, moreover so, beef its often substituted with turkey. My take on this dish involves mock octopus tentacles… in pasta form! To feed two frightfully hungry tummies you will need: 200g cooked tripoline pasta 300g diced turkey breast 300g sliced mushrooms 100ml single cream 2 bay leaves 1tbsp chopped dill leaves 1 small chopped onion 1 cube of vegetable stock 1 cup hot …

Tortellini, edible pockets of goodness

Many have been the solutions we’ve given to two basic needs: prepare food ahead and transp orting it. Convenience, portability and efficiency have determined the evolution of the solutions.   Nomadic cultures have very efficient and simple ways to eat on the go without interrupting their journeys, typically involving dried or cured meats, transporting dried fruits, roots or nuts. Rotting, smoking, dehydrating, pickling and baking are common methods to preserve meats, fruits and vegetables. Some great solutions for transporting involve edible pockets: Pasties, dumplings, empanadas, pies, vareniki, calzone… The vessel always responds (at least historically) to the needs of the eater: How far ahead in the day will the food be eaten Travel conditions Can it be eaten cold Will it be the only meal Will it require cutlery… and here is when the refinement of each dish comes into play.  We can easily picture farmers or miners happily munching a pasty – pastry and all– at this point the beauty of the food is irrelevant as long as the content is safely preserved and the pastry merely complements …

No Fuss Week Pasta Dinner

Sometimes less is more, and thank God for that. When I ponder about how our lives can be so  unbearably  hectic, the last thing I want is to stress over dinner. There’s no shame in trying to simplify cooking, specially if the result is a healthy, fast and flavourful meal, the secret to success is very simple: a well stocked fridge and a highly functional pantry. As long as you have those things covered, food preparation shouldn’t be a painful task.

Easy Peasy Radiant Ravioli

I remember the first time I made pasta, it was epic, I’m not saying it was perfect, it was EPIC. We had some friends coming over, got our aprons on, cracked numerous eggs, got started and in no time we were all-covered in flour. Many years had to past until I attempted making pasta again, but this time I did a thorough research, cross referenced many recipes and took a plunge. The first result was very decent and like many things, with some practice my skills have improved. I went from making farfalle to linguini, lasagne and ravioli. Making pasta is surprisingly  simple, however you must learn to differentiate simple from fast.