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Homemade Ravioli & Family Memories

May 10, 2010

Viva Bene, Spesso L’Amore, Di Risata Molto*

Last night, I made a really simple, basic recipe of homemade ravioli for my roommates and a few friends.

Yes, I said homemade. As in, I made the dough, I made the filling, I created the little ravioli, and I cooked them.

And they were delicious. Sadly, I was so excited about what I was doing (there may have been bouncing involved), that I didn’t take any photos. I was very in-the-moment. Sometimes I wish I could hire a photographer to just follow me around all the time and document my life. That way, I could just live, but I’d still have the all the photos I want. Being “the photographer” in my group of friends means that sometimes I have a lot of photos, but I’m not actually in any of them.

Anyway… that was a random aside.

Back to the pasta.

I’ve been wanting to make homemade pasta for months, but my pig-sty of an old kitchen prevented me from wanting to do any cooking whatsoever. However, I moved to a new house about a week and a half ago, and not only am I loving my new roommates, my new commute (includes 2.5 miles of walking everyday… hello built-in-exercise!) and the new digs, but the kitchen is pristine. Definitely clean enough to cook from-scratch pasta in.

So last night, I made a quick run to the market for eggs, flour and ricotta, and got to work cooking some homemade ravioli. I mixed flour and eggs and water to make the dough, and mixed ricotta cheese and egg to make the filling. I cut out little rounds of dough with an overturned drinking glass, and plopped small dollops of filling on each round. I folded over the rounds and crimped them shut with the tines of a fork. I dropped the ravioli a few at a time into a huge pot of boiling water and watched as they floated to the top as they finished cooking. And then I sat down with new roommates and friends, and ate a homemade dinner, full of laughter and jokes and stories.

And the whole time I was working at making it, I was remembering family dinners back in Boston. Auntie Chickie’s anisette cookies, handmade pizelle and huge Italian dinners. My mom making homemade gravy (pasta sauce to all you non-Boston-Italians) that took all day to cook and filled the whole house with the smell of tomatoes and basil. Sitting on the counter with my feet dangling down, kicking the cabinets lightly, watching a meal come together from a handful of separate ingredients. The year I finally convinced my parents to go back to doing the Feast of Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve.

I’ve always heard people talk about how cooking brings back memories and revives family traditions. Although I sometimes have had that feeling – most notably every year at Christmas when my sister and I take on the task of making anisette cookies in Chickie’s memories – it’s never been as strong as it was last night.

And it seemed fitting that on Mother’s Day, I cooked a large, Italian dinner for the people I’m living with. I cooked a meal that is ingrained in my senses and in my heart thanks to my mother and her Italian ancestry. So, Mom, thanks for everything you taught me in the kitchen. I’m looking forward to finally putting it all to good use.

*Translates to “Live Well, Love Much, Laugh Often”

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. the mom permalink
    May 10, 2010 8:06 pm

    you’re welcome! I can see myself, in my grandmother’s kitchen cutting out the dough with the drinking glass and crimping the edges closed for her after she dropped filling on each round and covered it…bene fatto, mia figlia 🙂

  2. May 10, 2010 9:17 pm

    It sounds easy to you but for me I think I need to go back to school… cooking school.

    Like Julia Child.

  3. May 15, 2010 10:27 am

    Aww, I love this post. First off, because I totally feel you on wanting a photographer to follow me around since I am the photographer of my friends.

    And because of the homemade pasta and everything else. I love that stuff, though I have NEVER made it myself. And don’t have a family recipe like you, because, unfortunately, I have NO Italian blood running through my veins. 😉 It’s so awesome that you have that and spent time with your family in the kitchen as a child. I did the same, and whenever I fix certain dishes, it just takes me back to that time.

    Happy weekend!

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