This is the beginning of the most exciting part of my living in Italy. Learning how to cook not like an Italian American but like a Pontelandolfese. Today, I am sitting next to the gorgeous, multi-lingual, brilliant Annarita Mancini and she is going to unearth the secret of the incredible ravioli con zucca. We decided that this is not a cook book blog but a “watch your nonna” and “listen to your nonna” blog. Everything is a pinch of this and a handful of that. So just leap into the conversation and add your nonna’s touches too. Sit back, think foodie thoughts and follow along.
For you lovers of language we will post the first recipe but not a recipe in Italian ably written by Annarita and then in English poorly written by me.
Facilissimo preparare i ravioli! Un uovo per 100 grammi di farina…io e mamma abbiamo dovuto usare 9 uova!!! (That means she fed a ton of people and added more flour too.) ok…unire le uova, la farina e un pò di olio, mescolare fino a rendere l’impasto omogeneo. (“The flour is asking you for more eggs” says Carmela – “that is how you know how much.” How funky granola woo-woo is this! I love it! It is more about look, touch – or as Carmela says “your relationship with the food) Sorry for interrupting – what kind of look are you shooting me – I said I was sorry.
Creare delle sfoglie usando la macchinetta per la pasta. Le lasciamo riposare cospargendole con un pò di farina…nel frattempo prepariamo la zucca per il ripieno dei ravioli…cuocere la zucca con olio,aglio e sale, quando é cotta unire le noci tritate, lo speck a pezzetti e una manciata di formaggio grattuggiato. Con l’aiuto del “miracoloso” attrezzo per preparare i ravioli il gioco é fatto. Mettiamo una prima sfoglia di pasta sull’attrezzo,poi aggiungiamo un pó di ripieno negli appositi spazi,copriamo con una seconda sfoglia, passiamo il matterello sulle sfoglie e i ravioli sono pronti. Passiamo alla cottura…cuocere i ravioli in acqua bollente per meno di 5 minuti. (Come dice mamma:” il tempo che salgono!”)
See she is doing it again – she just knows when it is done! OK, OK – back to Annarita – Per condirli abbiamo usato gli stessi ingredienti del ripieno: zucca, noci, speck e formaggio…basta farli saltare in padella per 2 minuti e il risultato sará delizioso!!!!
According to Annarita making ravioli is easy! She forgot to tell you that Zia Giuseppina first had to go to the chicken coop and get the eggs. OK, now that we have eggs and flour here we go. They use one egg for about 100 grammi of flour – that is about 4 ounces. You have to go by touch here. Not too liquid and not to dry. If it needs more flour – add some. So for twelve people they used nine eggs and about two pounds of flour – Did we really eat all those ravioli???
Blend the eggs and flour together until you have a nice smooth ball of dough. Then break it into handfull sizes, flatten it and send it through the pasta machine. After you made the sheets of dough, set them on the counter on a little flour and let them rest.
Meanwhile, you got some strong dude to cut into the fresh pumpkin and peel it – go find a cute guy at the local caffé. Slice the pumpkin into tiny thin slices. Put some great olive oil in a frying pan with garlic and let that start to cook. Add the pumpkin and saute all together. Add salt to taste. (Anyone have another word besides “add”?) When the pumpkin is cooked add thinly sliced walnuts, grated parmesan and speck.(Unlike other prosciutti, speck is deboned before curing and made in northern Italy.)
Place a sheet of pasta on the – I could not believe this- TUPPERWARE ravioli form. Poke the dough into the form and put about a spoon full of filling in each cavity. Cover with a second sheet of pasta and pass a rolling pin over it. The ravioli form has ridges that will cut the pieces into the perfect shape. Flip the form over and – shazaam – you have ravioli. Now, you all know how to toss ravioli into boiling salted water and cook it until it floats to the top.
What you didn’t know was the segreto – secret – use the same filling for the “condimento” – non sauce. They fried up extra pumpkin, garlic and speck. Then tossed in the nuts and some grated parmesan – which is made from local cheese and the cooked ravioli and served it up with fresh parsley – add extra parmesan to taste. There you have it – “to die for” ravioli.