Rivers, and Ravioli

“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

THE DISH
Homemade mushroom ravioli with a vodka cream sauce
THE BEER
Bridge Brewing Co. – Bourbon Blood Orange Wheat Ale
THE ALBUM
American Authors – Seasons

THE SAUCE

Smells amazing while simmering
  • 2 Shallots (Diced)
  • 2 3 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Vodka
  • 540 ml crushed tomatoes (1 can)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Rosemary, salt and pepper to taste

Add butter, olive oil, garlic and shallots to pan and let simmer for 2-3 minutes until the shallots become sweet.
Add vodka and simmer 2-3 more minutes or until it is cooked down to about half.
Add tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add heavy cream. Once sauce starts to simmer again, remove from heat.

THE FILLING

  • 113g Room temperature goat cheese
  • 113g Cottage cheese
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 113g diced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 Handful of spinach coarsely chopped

Dice mushrooms and add to pan with 1 tbsp of heated olive oil, cook until browned and add garlic. Remove from heat to cool to room temperature.
Mix all ingredients together and set aside.

THE PASTA

  • 2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Place flour on mat and create a hole in the center.
Add 3 eggs, olive oil, and salt.
Mix everything together and knead for 10 minutes.
Cover with mixing bowl and let rest for 15 minutes. Then cut the dough in half and roll each half out as thin as you can possibly make them. If you have a pasta maker, use it. It’s a fight to make them thin using only a rolling pin.

They’re not pretty but they’ll do

Spoon filling onto one sheet of dough in teaspoon increments, Leaving about a half inch between each spoonful.
Brush the dough with water in between the filling balls to help the dough stick together.
Place the other half of the dough on top and press together between filling balls.
Cut them apart and seal edges together with a spoon.
Boil water and kosher salt and add ravioli. Boil until they float easily, then toss in a skillet with melted butter. Top with Vodka cream sauce and serve.

THE REVIEW

One of my all time favourite dishes is pasta. I love it. If I could, I would eat this wonderful little meal every day. It is such a versatile food that you can do an infinite amount of different things with. You could even serve this wonderful creation plain, with only some butter, and it would still be amazing. Making my own pasta at home however, has always been somewhat of a daunting venture. It seemed like a terribly complicated thing to do; akin to rocket science.

Always ensure your dough has proper supervision while resting

While looking up recipes for various pasta dishes, one thing became abundantly clear, and that was how simple a pasta dough truly is to make. There are only 4 ingredients (And some serious elbow grease) required. Fear and apprehension gave way to wonder and excitement. “Wow, I could really make this” I began to think over the past week. And guess what? I could! The only thing that would have make the process easier is a pasta maker. It may be worth it to invest in one. My shoulders will likely thank me too.

They aren’t perfect, but that’s real life, isn’t it?

Choosing an album was a bit of a challenge. Where do you even start with such a versatile food? Dealers choice? We very likely could go with anything our hearts desired.
making your own pasta could be considered pretty hipster. So I decided that an Indie album would go really well with this dish. American authors perfectly fit this bill and their album, Seasons is a perfect mix of upbeat banjo riffs and some perfectly put together lyrics that will make you hum and dance along while you are fighting and using some choice words with your pasta dough. Every song on this album is gold but the top songs that went with my venture are Say Amen, Before I Go, and Bring it on home. But I strongly recommend that you listen to the entire album. Pairing the beer with this pasta would be a challenge too for the same reasons that it was difficult to choose an album. Settling on the Bourbon Blood Orange beer was mostly made due to the beer colour kind of matching the vodka sauce. This is an unfiltered wheat ale with hits of citrus in it and is light, but full flavoured and easy drinking. It is a personal favourite of mine and would pair with most pasta dishes, or, well, anything really.
Making this dish took me back to my travels in Italy at times. I can remember sitting on a narrow street in San Gimigano after a long day of exploring the medieval city, sitting outside, on a restaurant terrace that also doubled as a road, eating some home made Gnocci and discussing what we had discovered in this little town. It was only about 4pm but the shadows in the streets where already long, due to the narrow streets. I remember dad was discussing mine and my sisters poor choice to explore a torture museum and I can remember his wholehearted laugh when I hung my head and stated that I needed to leave halfway through. It’s funny how a food can bring these moments back around. Moments that for years, have been pushed back or moved to make room for other things.

THE DISH
9/10 – use a pasta maker next time to get dough thinner
THE BEER
10/10 – Always a favourite with lots of flavour and just enough citrus taste to make it a little different
THE ALBUM
10/10 – Grooved and sang the entire time while making this dish. It is a light, easy listening album with just very thoughtful lyrics that are easy to relate to.
OVERALL
9/10
The pasta was very good but would be better if the dough was a little thinner. This could be achieved with a pasta maker. The Beer went perfectly with pasta with just enough tartness to fit with the shallots in the sauce and the goat cheese in the filling.

As always, thank you for taking the time to delve into this with me!
Next week I think we will change that pace a little bit and make a personal favourite of mine, Tiramisu

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