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 !!!

 

We love Gnocchi-di-Patate-Fatti-in-Casa

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People often ask me if it is possible to cook from scratch delicious and healthy dishes when time is an issue. My answer is very simple: Time Management.

Planning an healthy meal is very simple and it will save you lots of time for sure! Firstly I always  make sure I have the basic staples (such as pasta, rice, couscous, flour, semolina….) in my cupboard and pantry,  also fresh herbs and vegetables are a must in my kitchen.

Today I am making a classic, “Gnocchi di Patate” (Potato Gnocchi) the easiest and quickest pasta dish that everyone will love. I would always freeze half of the gnocchi and I would cook them on a school night when time is definitely tight. Just like my Mamma and Nonna would do I love planning my meals on a daily base, when you are busy with the children, work, school runs and all the sorts of things a Mum needs to do I can guarantee you being organised in the kitchen makes your life better.

So are you ready? Have you got all the ingredients for this delicious dish?

Serving 4-6 people 

Ingredients

4 large potatoes (1kg)

300g strong white flour

1 egg

salt

Preparation 

In a large pot with just enough water to cover the potatoes, boil them with their skins on for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Try not to over boil them.

Remove potatoes and drain well. Peel boiled potatoes and use a potato ricer to mash them until all completely smooth (alternately you can use a potato masher)

Place the riced potatoes into a large mixing bowl (or you can place them straight  on a dry work top). Add the flour, the salt and the egg and start mixing with a fork.

Transfer the mix on a dry work top and pull together ingredients. Knead to form dough. Be careful not to over-knead. Be weary of adding flour at this point. Too much flour will give you hard gnocchi. Knead just enough for the dough to come together. Dough should have a loose airy texture, not gooey or dense. Shape dough into a long, wide cylinder for cutting.

Quarter dough. Roll each piece by gently pushing with fingers spread. The goal is to make an evenly-distributed rope.

Using a pastry cutter or non-serrated knife, cut dough ropes into 2cm pieces. To prevent sticking, keep gnocchi in a cool area. Toss them with extra flour while they are waiting to be cooked or frozen. Gently shake away any excess flour and place finished gnocchi in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook the gnocchi until they float to the top, about 2-4 minutes. Gently remove them with a slotted spoon, drain very well. Toss them in a saucepan with your favorite sauce and cook together for about 2 minutes.

My children’s favourite Gnocchi dish is in a simple basil and tomato sauce but today I wanted to be more adventurous and I made a creamy mushroom sauce with garlic and thyme.

It was DELIZIOSO!!!!!!!

I hope I made Mamma and Nonna proud 🙂