Monday, November 22, 2010

Why I Make Ravioli

Yesterday was ravioli-making day. Butternut squash. Homemade. Delicious!
Now, I am no pasta-making expert, but I do my best, and when I make fresh pasta, I want it filled. Filled with delicious, delectable things. Which, to me, is not butternut squash. I really do not like the b-nut.

However, 1) everyone else seems to and 2) I love butter and fried sage more than I hate squash.

There seems to be no better medium to convey butter and fried sage to my mouth without feeling gross and getting a little bored (because too much goodness gets monotonous unless there’s something to counter that—that’s why we like grilled food with little burnt bits!), so a couple weeks ago I roasted a b-nut and froze it; today I conned a friend into coming over and helping me. Pasta-making is much easier with three hands. (Don’t know what to do with the fourth, but it’s always nice having an extra around.)

I always read in Italian cookbooks about how easy it is to make pasta, and how it’s an important daily ritual of every nonna feeding her clan. However, that does not jive with my Italian-American upbringing. I stole (only my mom thinks I “borrowed”) two old Italian-American cookbooks to use for inspiration (since Marcella Hazan’s book was causing me to get snarky phone calls from the library about returning it sometime soon) and neither of them have a pasta recipe! Both of my dad’s parents worked and there wasn’t the luxury of cranking out pasta every day. That, and I think dried pasta serves its purpose better than fresh. Yes, fresh is what you need for making homemade filled pasta, but fresh spaghetti or linguine? Not necessary. And making fresh shaped pasta? Not worth it.

And that is why I make homemade ravioli.

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