Ravioli di Nonna Pasqualina

Ravioli di Nonna Pasqualina

  • Servings: 4-5
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This wholesome recipe brings back some of my childhood memories, I am lucky I am able to share them with my children

 

 

Have you thought how much food can have an impact on your memory? The taste, smell, and texture of food can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back memories not just of eating food itself but also of places and settings. Food is an effective trigger of deeper memories of feelings and emotions, internal states of the mind and body.

We all have food memories and this recipe from my Nonna brings back some of mine…..

…. I grew up on the island of Sardinia coming from quite a large family with lots uncles, aunts and cousins. We all lived very close and our family life was ruled by traditional meals and wholesome food.  I learned to cook from an early age, cooking was like a game for us children,  some days instead of playing with dolls,  we used rolling pins and wooden spoons  …. BEI TEMPI! Good old times !!

I was around 7 years old when on a sunny afternoon after school I helped my Nonna make Ravioli for the first time. Making Ravioli was (and still is in our family) a proper gathering, so all my cousins, aunts ( and uncles too) would be there to help Nonna… actually Nonna would make it very clear that she was in charge and that everyone had to follow her instructions.  Apparently I was spending more time in tasting the filling and playing with that edible play dough than kneading the dough and filling the pasta. For a little girl that was all that mattered at the time!  and that recipe is a memory that I will treasure forever.

My Nonna Pasqualina /PAH-SKOO-AH-LEE-NAH/ was born on 11th April 1922 in  small town called Bolotana

She was recently interviewed about her healthy life style and upbringing in Sardinia, at 96 years old she is still an inspiration for all of us and we can only look up to her and learn lessons on the way she lives her life ❤️ Grazie Nonna

You can read her beautiful story all in Italian in Chentannos. Thanks to the amazing Laura Mele for bringing back the memories of the centenarians in Sardinia.

https://www.chentannos.net/it/pasqualina-casula?fbclid=IwAR1u2c_peXbLaznEU5YToGL03tYUZ2gtDElqH8_0QYY-JDtEDGnMSzQh7Ys
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Ingredients

For the Ravioli:

250g Plain Flour Tipo  “00”

250g Semolina

1 kg good quality of Ricotta cheese

Handful of Parsley, finely chopped

Water 1 glass

Salt, large pinch   1

tbs of Lemon zest

For the Sauce:

Tomato Passata , 2 bottles (680g per bottle)

White Onion, half, finely chopped

Basil, finely chopped      1bunch

Olive Oil, 2 tbsp

Salt, 1 pinch

Directions

 

Filling :

Mix the ricotta cheese and the parsley. Add the lemon zest and salt. mix all. Stir it until soft and smooth. Add some more salt if needed. Pasta:

Place the flour and the semolina on a board or in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add some water and mix it together Once it is all combined, knead until you have a silky, smooth, elastic dough. You are aiming to achieve a play dough texture. If your dough is crumbly (too dry) add a teaspoon of water. If the dough sticks to your hands (too wet) add a little extra flour or semolina. Cover with cling film and rest for 30 minutes. Take a tennis ball-sized amount of dough, squash it flat with your fingers, push it through the pasta roller on the widest setting. Fold into thirds, then repeat 3 times. Once you have a rough square shape, start working it through the machine, taking it down one setting at a time, until the thinnest setting. You should end up with a long sheet of pasta about 8-10cm wide. Place this on a flat surface with flour underneath to stop it from sticking. Flour the ravioli mould and place one sheet of pasta over the ravioli maker.  Gently press the pasta  into the depressions of the mould to form cups. Place about a tablespoon of filling into each pocket Place another sheet of pasta over the ravioli filling. Use a rolling pin to press the two layers of pasta together. Start with gentle pressure to press out any air and to form a seal. Then use more pressure to cut the pasta into individual ravioli.  Peel off excess dough from around the ravioli. Turn the ravioli maker over and give the mould a shake.  The ravioli should easily fall out of the mould. Dust the ravioli with some flour so they won’t stick together. In a large saucepan bring 1/1.5l water to the boil and add a table spoon of coarse salt. As the water is boiling gently place your ravioli into the water, 5 at the time. They will cook pretty quickly ( as soon as they floating you know they are cooked). Use a small colander to get the out and gently place them on a serving dish. Sauce:

In a large pan put the olive oil, the onion and some of the basil. Put it on the heat until simmering. Add the passata, a pinch of salt and cover with a lid, cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the basil before serving.


Now pour the sauce on your ravioli , sprinkle some parmesan and enjoy !!!

 

Pane al Pomodoro

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Pane al Pomodoro

  • Servings: 4-6
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A fresh recipe perfect for the whole family.

Pane al Pomodoro: that beautiful texture, that unmistakable aroma.. it is one of the clearest food memories I have form my childhood. I was probably 5 years old when in the summer holidays with my brother and my cousins we all used to spend the day at my Nonna’s home, she would bake for us this beautiful bread, still one of our favourite dishes, Happy memories  🙂

 

 

Beautiful for lunch, dinner or as a snack, this is perfect for packed lunch too 

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 300ml warm water
  • 2tsp dried yeast
  • 2tbs olive oil
  • salt

Directions

  1. Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt. Gently mix with a fork. Pour half of the water into another mixing bowl and add the yeast. Thoroughly dissolve the yeast in the water until the water turns into a brownish colour. Pour some of the “brownish” water into the flour and with a fork or your fingers mix it all in. Continue to add water a little at a time ( you will have to add the other half of the water), combining well until you have picked up all the flour from the sides of the bowl.
  2. Add the olive oil. Once it is all combined, knead until you have a silky, smooth, elastic dough.
  3. Kneading: Push the dough out in one direction with the heel of your hand, then fold it back on itself. Turn the dough by 90 degrees and repeat. Kneading in this way stretches the gluten and makes the dough elastic. Do this for about 4 or 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Work quickly so that the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands – if it does get too sticky you can add a little flour to your hands. Now your dough needs to rest.
  4. Place it into a large bowl (you can use the same one you used for the flour), cover the bowl with a damp tea towel, this will avoid the dough once is proven to stick to the tea towel. Set it aside to prove (somewhere warm), this should take 1 hour and the dough should double in size. Now your dough is ready!
  5. Preheat the oven to 220C/fan 200 degrees. Halve 150g of plum tomatoes and take out the seeds with a little spoon. Mix the tomatoes with a good pinch of salt, a table spoon of olive oil and a table spoon of dried oregano.
  6. Tip out the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a round shape (or a square, depending on the shape of your baking tray). You may have to stretch it with your hands a little. Put it inside a non stick tray (alternatively you can use a baking sheet).
  7. Push the tomatoes inside the dough leaving a little gap between each other, sprinkle a little more salt and pour 4/5 tablespoons of olive oil all aver your bread.
  8. Bake for 15/20 minutes, until the bread in golden!
  9. P.S. You can add different toppings: onion and balsamic vinegar, salt and rosemary or many more…