Friday, November 2, 2007

Take 2! Ravioli Caprese

Nearing the end of the long week, dinner more then likely consists of a smorgasbord of leftover items. Last Sunday I made a pound of Asian Peanut Noodles, NH's favorite. I'd promised it to him that morning, and despite a little tiff in which I threatened to make him no dinner, he got his wish. It's a terrific recipe, very easy to make but I probably shouldn't have made the full pound. NH happily ate it for dinner on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night- and there is still some left!

I tend to be a scavenger most week nights- salad here, soup there. Monday night was a beautiful portobello veggie stir fry that I shared with A who came over to do some party planning. It was great but after two dinners I needed something new.

Despite all the leftovers in the fridge, I was itching to cook last night. So, I decided to take another stab at the Ravioli Caprese from scratch. I took out the leftover filling and added a little more ricotta, basil, and grated cheese to fill it out. I took out my apron, rolled up my sleeves, got the water ready on the stove, and proceeded with the dough.

Right away I noticed a difference, and learned a lesson- it really does pay to review the directions. I used very hot rather than boiling water and stirred the flour in to form the dough. I let it sit for exactly the 10 minutes, than divided it into four pieces. Once again, sticky sticky- but a much more cohesive and workable dough. I worked quickly and used a new biscuit cutter to cut out the ravioli (more versatile than a ravioli stamp). It made pretty scalloped edges which I liked. I used the four sections of dough, then rolled out the scraps from each to make a few more.

The ravioli cooked in 3-4 minutes, and we sat down to a delicious dinner of homemade ravioli. I made the same sauce but with less olive oil and more lemon zest. NH christened this as one of his very favorite dishes, up there with the peanut noodles. From him that's saying something!

So the moral of the story is: if a recipe doesn't come out well the first time or seems too difficult, don't be discouraged. Learn from the difficult parts and try again! You'll improve a thousand times with just one try, and it will only continue to get better as you perfect it. I know I'll be making this ravioli dough again soon, with this filling or one of my own concoction.