This blog post is going out to friends and adventures, as the last few weeks have been filled with friends who have exciting prospects on the horizon. Last night was dedicated to two friends who are going to be sorely missed in Auckland. We cooked a feast from Jerusalem and made feijoa cocktails from the tree that is raining fruit outside my front door. Turns out we still know the dance moves from Stop perfectly! Another dinner was celebrating a potential book deal that will involve a friend retracing his grandfather’s steps through Italy, staying in small towns along the way and recording his adventures. It just sounds so amazing, I thought the best way to celebrate was to make some ravioli and drink some Chianti, and that is exactly what we did. A hilarious dinner ensued, including a book reading from Breakfast at Tiffany’s… “I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighbourhoods.” Cooking and eating a meal together is definitely the best way to celebrate.
There is something so satisfying about making pasta. You put two ingredients together, take out any frustration you have on it, and then roll it until you have silky smooth sections of golden pasta ready to filled and consumed. Here is a summer ravioli recipe that is a great way to use up the cheap zucchini that are everywhere, as well as including my R ingredient, ricotta.
Zucchini and Ricotta Ravioli
Serves a generous three
1 clove garlic
Sprinkling of thyme leaves
Zest of one lemon
Lump of butter
Small handful of capers
Big handful of both basil and parsley
Grana pedana or parmesan
First you need to make your pasta by making a well in the middle of the flour for your eggs, then slowly combining until you have a lump of pasta to knead. This part is vital to create a smooth and silky consistency. Take out anything that may be troubling you on the lump of dough for about ten minutes, dust with flour and put in the fridge for at least half an hour covered in glad wrap.
Now it is time to make your filling. Grate the zucchini and fry in olive oil with the thyme, lemon zest and garlic until softened. Add the ricotta and stir through.
It’s time to get rolling! Roll out the sheets of pasta one at a time, working from the widest setting on the pasta roller, all the way to the smallest setting. Make sure you dust the pasta with flour well every time so that it doesn’t stick together. Lay out a sheet of pasta and put little spoonfuls of the zucchini mixture half the way along. Fold the other side on top and then flatten the pasta around the filling, binding it together. I have a cute wee ravioli cutter to get the right shape, but you can just cut them into squares with a knife. Keep on doing this until you have used up all the pasta and mixture.
Heat a pot of water until you have a rolling boil, you don’t want it going too crazy incase it breaks your perfect wee parcels open. They will only need a few minutes, drain when they float to the top.
The sauce is very easy. Just heat some olive oil in a pan and add the capers and half of the basil and parsley. The rest can be torn over the pasta with grated parmesan when it is plated up.
Here’s to adventures…