“The real test is this. Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper (about your enemy). Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils.”
– CS Lewis, Mere Christianity
I’m attempting to make one thing that challenges me every week, and I kicked the year off with ravioli. Making pasta from scatch was something that had long interested me, but seemed too difficult to take on. Not true!
I’ve come to realize it’s really this simple: 1 egg + 1 cup of flour = 1 serving. If you can get that combined right, have the patience to let it rest, and have a big of elbow grease, you can have pasta within an hour. In this case I had some leftover pizza toppings that I thought might combine into something worthwhile – some cooked and crumbled Italian sausage and some homemade ricotta cheese, with a touch of salt and herbs.
The full recipe is below but the gist was as simple as rolling out the noodle (thinner than you think as you’re doing it), filling, covering, rolling again, and cooking. And fresh pasta takes no time to cook at all. In the pan with some melted butter and a splash of pasta water created a very tasty, and otherwise simple ravioli.
Would I do it again? Heck yeah. Now to break out the sheeter and make some actual noodles.
Italian Sausage & Ricotta Ravioli
Homemade pasta isn't about complex ingredients, it's about attention to detail and technique. In fact, all you need is one egg and one cup of flour for each person you want to feed. With the right effort, pasta will come out the other side. What you fill it with is up to you - here, I used leftover Italian sausage and homemade ricotta. Because homemade ravioli goes best with leftovers. Waste not, want not!
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time15 mins
Resting time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 4 people
- 1 Egg, large
- 1 cup Flour All-purpose or 00
- 2 Italian sausage
- 1 cup Ricotta cheese
- 1 tbsp Butter, unsalted
Place the flour in a pile on a cutting board and create a well in the middle. Crack the eggs in the well, and using a fork, gently whisk the flour and eggs, gradually pulling flour in to the eggs.
Lightly flour a new board - or clean and dry your current one - and overturn the blended flour and eggs on to it. Gently knead about 10 minutes until it becomes consistent in colour and texture. Don't be afraid to add a bit of water if the mix is too crumbly. Once complete set the dough on a clean surface, cover with a bowl, and leave to sit for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes lightly flour a new surface, pull off an egg-sized ball of dough, and begin rolling it out. Turn a quarter turn consistently as your roll. You're done when you can see your hand through it. Most people leave it too thick, so be sure it's thin enough to read a magazine through!
Lay the dough over a ravioli mold and lightly press into place. Fill with your selected filling (in this case, cooked Italian sausage and ricotta).
Place another layer of dough on top, then using your rolling pin, roll over top until it both seals and cuts.
Remove the ravioli and carefully remove any loose edges or hangers-on until you have complete, perfect little squares. Place in salted, boiling water.
Have a pan with melted, unsalted butter at the ready - fresh egg pasta cooks in well under a minute. Once it rises to the surface of the boiling water remove with a slotted spoon and place in the buttered pan. Add a touch of the salted pasta water, toss, and serve.
The other day I realized I’ve had a website for almost 25 years. I thought it might be worth just tidying it up a bit, pulling it down, maybe building myself a nice little book so one day I can look back at things from the rocking chair on the porch.
I’m currently tidying up 2002. A lot has changed for me. Who I am. Who I spend time with. How I think. It’s an odd thing to be able to go back 17 years and get back into your own head.
I’m not going to announce a restart. I’m not going to promise to type much. But Facebook (which didn’t exist the last time I posted regularly) doesn’t thrill me much anymore, and I still need a place to share recipes.
I still like to title my posts after songs, here’s the one I picked:
Maybe blowing this place up will cause me to get started again? Welcome to the new OA, now brighter and responsively designed! Let me clean up the corners and closets a bit before I get started again, but know that I’m still hunting every beer in the world, and running more than ever. So not much has changed, regardless of extended absences. I do miss having a place to say things that get people cranky, though.
Two days out from Spartan Sprint Toronto and things don’t look so good. I’ve been out running very lightly but the tendon continues to flame up and hurt, and I’m nowhere near optimal speed and strength. Thankfully my elbow has pretty much healed entirely so I don’t anticipate difficulty with climbing and lifting, but the speed won’t be there at all. The good news? Nobody asks how you did when you get the Spartan trifecta, they only know that you did it. So the mission for Saturday at this point is merely to finish with no regard for time at all. It’s my first ever Spartan race and I’ll defeat it one way or another, and I’ve got it in the back of my head to potentially run another Sprint – competitively – later in the year. (Helloooo Fenway Park!)
My race partner, Jay, has suffered an injury of his own. Dude is beast mode 24/7 and has been training hard for months, and in a race last Saturday managed to sprain his ankle. Still waiting to see if he’ll even make it, and if he does, he’ll be walking it. Which leaves only Jeff, who tells me he hasn’t really done any running or training, as the one of us likely to perform the best. It doesn’t pay to train? :)
My attempt at a light run this morning hurt so I pulled back and called it a day, which means my pre-race training is now complete. The next time I strap on the gear – and the brand new Reebok All-Terrain Series OCR shoes for the first time – will be Saturday for the 9:30 Spartan Sprint. I’ll let y’all know how it goes! Then it’s light runs with more weights leading into Warrior Dash. Keeping my eye on the prize – the Spartan Beast in Killington this September!