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 !!!

 

Hello my friend, I am going to take you to my little island….

The day I asked my friend Anita to come with me to Sardinia for a short visit I did not realise that that trip would have meant so much for both of us. For me it meant that my beautiful country with its food, its history, its traditions and its way of living would have been such a source of inspiration. For my friend it meant that the way of eating and enjoying food would have changed for good for her and her family.

Here is how she experienced Sardinia:

Sunday

The first word that sprung to my mind as we drove up the winding road through the green mountains and along the coastline of turquoise waters: PARADISE!!

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The beautiful blue sky and temperature of 26 degrees at the end of the summer, 2 and a half hours flight from home, I instantly felt relaxed.

Sitting with Lara and her Mum Gina in the garden, drinking -Yes you’ve guessed it, coffee, very traditional when passing time with friends and family, they would pop by and have a good chat and a strong cup of coffee.

 

Surrounded by olive trees, cactus plants and fresh herbs, I was excited to experience the real Sardinia. What better way than to stay with my friend Lara and her Mum at their B&B Le Colline di Morimenta and live and eat as they do.

 

Whilst we relaxed Gina busied herself in the kitchen preparing lunch -here she is the Queen and the Boss of her kitchen. Sat around the table together we enjoyed goat stew, pasta in sauce and fried aubergines in breadcrumbs. I could instantly taste the freshness and the quality of the food.

We were also joined by Lara’s friend Thomas and his two children from Germany, who also have a passion for fresh healthy food and he has come to experience the Mediterranean diet and get some great ideas to share.

Later we dropped in on neighbours who welcomed us all into their home offering coffee, cakes, lots of conversations and laughter.

For our evening meal we all joined in preparing a lovely banquet of fresh prawns, aubergines, salad, pasta and lots of water and a few glasses of local wine. Even though I felt I’d eaten so much it was all very healthy and no need to snack in between meals. I am starting to realise why they have such a healthy diet and the highest level of centenarians.

 

Monday 

Today we all came together in the kitchen to make ravioli, one of their favourite dishes. It was absolutely delicious, all freshly made and another opportunity to chat and laugh together.

 

After lunch we headed to the beach. As I walked around the corner I was greeted by pure white sand and crystal clear aqua sea. It was absolutely stunning! Families would often go down to the beach and bring lunch, fresh fruit, pasta dishes and plenty of water.

 

Tuesday

After breakfast I joined Lara and Gina on their trip to the local supermarket for ingredients for today’s lunch and dinner. Straight away I noticed the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables, all the colours and the quality was amazing, the meat and fish were so varied and so much choice. There seemed to be so many aisles of fresh produce and one aisle of treats. If only our supermarkets were like this I think there would not be so many people eating the wrong foods.

 

Lunch was pork steak and salad. I got to sample some ‘mortadella’ and gorgonzola which Lara says is her favourite food when she comes home. I tried fennel for the first time also, sliced and drizzled with a little olive oil, squeeze of lemon and pinch of salt. I didn’t know fennel was so good for your digestive system. I’ve always walked past this vegetable not really knowing what to do with it. You can also add to soups and stews.

Mediterranean food, lots of water, sun, family around the table taking time to talk to each other is such a good life recipe we should all be able to enjoy!

My time here is Sardinia is something I have thoroughly enjoyed and have gained some knowledge of how to cook fresh healthy dishes that are simple to prepare. Taking time to sit at the dinner table and talk to each about the days events without gadgets taking centerstage.

I hope to bring some of my experience to my family, unfortunately I cannot bring home the sun but if I can feed my family some heathy wholesome food with a touch of Italy they would feel the sun shining through.

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Ciao Mondo Bello!

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I just cant’t believe I am actually writing about my passion for food…. Can I start from when I was LITTLE? Helping my Mum making fresh pasta because in those days it was what you would do on a Sunday afternoon….Nowadays I would make fresh pasta as a treat for my children ( on a Sunday afternoon to keep up with the tradition), as a therapeutic way to forget about homework and football training! This is how it all started….. Ravioli di Patate e Menta is the first dish I ever cooked (or co-cooked) as I thought I was actually helping my Mum making it. 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 9 year old  that was all that mattered at the time! Grazie Mamma, questo e’ per te xxx