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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

This Week's Pasta

I can eat pasta every day. In fact, I did eat pasta every day when I worked at Maialino, where it was readily available both fresh and dried, and a pair of twelve gallon tanks of boiling water were on constant standby. At home it may be a touch more effort, and I may only eat it once a week, but if pressed to name a favorite food category, I think it might just be pasta.

So, I've convinced myself that I should probably get good at making it. Or at least respectable. This time I decided on a filled pasta - let's just, for now, ignore the innumerable regional differences in Italian pasta vernacular and call them ravioli - made from white flour and whole eggs.

Whether on its own or as a binder for vegetable fillings, ricotta is often found in filled pastas. So I bought the best milk I could find, added some buttermilk for acid, and heated it until it curdled. I then strained out the whey and - easy as that - checked ricotta off the list.

I wrapped and pressed the ricotta to get as much moisture as I could out of it, and mixed it with sauteed spinach, garlic, lemon zest, and olive oil.

The pasta dough came together fairly easily, and then it was a good old ravioli assembly line (can it be an assembly line with only one assembler?) to the finish.

The only sauce a pasta like that needs, or wants, is butter.

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