28 December 2009

Pork roast ravioli

We stayed in on Christmas, leaving the house only to shovel.  Today we stayed in, too, but went sledding and took a walk after dinner, climbing over huge snow-plow mountains.  On Christmas we ate a delicious pork roast, and with leftovers in the fridge I thought we should use it up.  I cut a few thick slices of the roast and minced it with a big knife on my cutting board, added a little cottage cheese, an egg, sage, salt and pepper.  I wouldn't normally make ravioli with already-cooked pork, but we were really in the mood for ravioli and the pork was sitting there.
I made the pasta dough and let it rest while we puttered around doing a few things.  When it came time to roll the dough I got out the pasta machine, expecting my eight-year old daughter and I would follow our usual routine - I feed the dough into the rollers while she cranks the handle.  As we got ready to start, my daughter said she wanted to roll the dough out herself and didn't want any assistance; once she started she wouldn't even let anyone else near the machine.  She did everything - she cut hunks of dough, fed them through the rollers, she cranked the handle, and handled the flattened dough gently. Once she laid out the long strips of rolled dough, they were mine to use.
The pasta strips were 3"-4" wide and anywhere from 16"-24" long.  I used about a teaspoon of filling for each ravioli, and we crimped the pieces with a chopstick.  I put them into boiling water 10-12 at a time, and cooked them for about three minutes.  I immediately transferred them with a slotted spoon into a large pan with sizzling butter, added more sage, a little salt, pine nuts, and a little more butter to keep everything sliding smoothly.
The texture of the cooked  ravioli was perfect - the pasta had just a little bite to it, the pine nuts added crunch, and the minced pork blended nicely with the sage and butter.  Ravioli is turning into a pasta we love to make because it always comes to the table looking good and tasting delicious.  And now, with an eight-year old who's taken over the pasta machine, we might be eating it more often.

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