Thursday, February 20, 2014

Homemade Ravioli Hearts

I prepped for a few days in advance of Valentine's Day to make a very special meal for my family. This was my first time making homemade ravioli from a recipe my mom often used for Christmas Eve dinner and many of my birthdays. It's the only recipe we use from a cookbook called "Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers: Foreign Foods Edition." The copyright date is 1967. Bet you don't have that one on your shelf.

1-package frozen spinach
1-package cream cheese
1/2 c ricotta cheese
small handful of grated bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

To make the filling, thaw and drain the spinach. Squeeze it in a clean dish towel to get it really dry. Then mix all of the ingredients together.

2 c flour
3 eggs

This is close to magic. Mix and add a little water to achieve a doughy consistency.

Assembling the ravioli
Roll the noodle dough out paper thin. Mom always rolled it about 1/2" thick and then cut it into squares. Then she would roll each square paper thin, fill and pinch into a triangular shape. Since it was Valentine's Day, I got all fancy and cut the dough into hearts. After I had enough hearts, I did the rest of the batch in assorted random shapes to freeze for another day.

Freeze for the future
Freeze the ravioli in layers of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. When they're solid, transfer to zip lock bags.

Dinner time!
Drop frozen ravioli into salted boiling water. They will float when they're ready. Top with your favorite sauce. On this night I used 1/2 of a can of tomato paste, one can of diced tomatoes, a teaspoon or so of Italian seasonings, a bay leaf, and a dash of olive oil. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Reviews from the family
Julia (age almost nine) announced that these were "better than what you usually make." Husband was deeply impressed.

Stay tuned, next week I will share our Valentine dessert!