venerdì 18 maggio 2007

Italian Cooking amore mio...gnocchi and ravioli

Moving hands. Kneading hands. Unsure but brave hands. They get dirty with flour and eggs. They take their time. They perceive the rythm and the strenght of the dough. Those hands feel it. Flour, eggs, salt and hands. A dance. Pleasure for everybody. The material grants itself supported by those hands... incredible!


We lough, we make jokes, we drink wine, but the effort in the work is touchable. There is a great desire of discovery. The air knows it. Tables know it. You can really see in their eyes, that they want to understand. Understand our way of cooking. Understand our differences... and learn from them!

I like this class. Really a lot. Very different from the others before. I like their efforts and their wish to try...
They were really good and open to any suggestion...
Thet were good and every time I learn something new!

Ravioli di zucca
Ravioli with pumpkin filling

Ingredients for four serves:

For the fresh egg pasta dough.
This dough can also be used for the tagliatelle.
400g high grade flour
4 eggs
1 tbls salt

For the filling
About 300gr pumpkin
3 eggs
150gr grated cheese
1 tbls salt
pinch of pepper

The first step is to make the dough.
For this you need to put the dry ingredients in a bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients and put the eggs, a bit of oil or water in it. Mix it gently with a fork, gradually mixing in the flour until it is to tough to mix with a fork. In this step you must pace yourself and mix the ingredients bit by bit because it makes it easier to mix. Gradually you incorporate all the wet ingredients into the flour mixture.
This is the point where you need to make sure it is not too wet or not too dry. You should knead it for about ten minutes. As you knead it will become elastic, shiny and easier to knead. Remember? Always with the heel of your hand!!! If the dough is too dry you might have to sprinkle water gradually until it is no longer dry.
At this stage I can tell you that some people let the dough set for about a hour… can you imagine? During a class I cannot wait so long and sometimes at home I don’t wait for so long either… so…Anyway in this time you can start to make the filling.
Do you remember?
I just took the Butternut squash, I cut them in half a should boil till you can handle it with a spoon or a fork. Mix then the grated cheese, salt and the eggs together and put everything in the fridge.
After this you take a chunk of dough and flatten it out with a rolling pin. If the dough is dry this step will be really hard. That is why making the dough and judging how thin the dough should be are the hardest steps. I know we used the pasta machine. But I am sure with a bit of patient and of love (…) you will be able to find the right thinnes!!! Then we took a simple glass and shaped them like a full moon or like a half moon.
We served them with a sauce of butter and fresh sage... very very simple, but really tastefull!

Gnocchi
Potatoes gnocchi (4 serves)
1kg Potatoes
300g High grade flour
1 or 2 eggs
1 tbls salt
You could also try those variations on the basic recipe:

Spinach gnocchi (4 serves)
1kg ½ Spinach
1 or 2 eggs
Flour (difficult to say: look at the consistency)
1 tbls salt

Tomatoes gnocchi (4 serves)
1kg Potatoes
300g High grade flour
1 or 2 eggs
2 tablespoons of concentrated tomato sauce
1 tbls salt

Boil the potatoes in a large pot. Steam until tender all the way through but not falling apart (a kitchen knife passes all the way through with some resistance). It's important that the potatoes are not overcooked. (Overdone, they will absorb too much water and take up so much flour that the gnocchi will sink like heavy little stones to the bottom of the stomach).
As soon as the potatoes are tender enough to push through a vegetable mill or use a potatoes masher. Remove them from the rack and when they can be handled, but while they're still hot, peel them and pass them through the vegetable mill into a large bowl.
Add a pinch of salt, all the flour and the eggs to the potatoes, working in the flour with a wooden spoon; then knead the dough gently for about 5 minutes on a lightly floured board or wooden work surface.Taste and knead in more salt if you wish, but be careful not to overwork the dough - it should be soft.
Add also some more flour if you think the consistency is not the right one and the dough is too sticky! Make a "snake" and remember cut them the size you wish... but not too big. Otherwise they would take longer to cook and they would be too heavy.
Bring to boil a pot of lightly salted water and drop in the gnocchi. Boil the gnocchi until they rise to the top, they ... must ... float. This will happen in one minute. Then remove them with a slotted skimmer or a colander.
We served those as well with butter and sage, but you could have them with a thousands of variations of the most famous italian sauces!!!

3 commenti:

Alex e Mari ha detto...

Vi sento ridere e pasticciare e sono sicura che tu ti diverta una sacco, Mari. Sento la tua risata che entusiasma i partecipanti e ti vedo correre da una parte all'altra spiegando come si tagliano le tagliatelle :-)
Peccato che tra noi ci siano migliaia di chilometri ... vorrei essere lì. Mi manchi
Alex

Anonimo ha detto...

Sentite voi due, pero´ un pacchettino con qualche cosina di buono da mangiare me la porteste pure spedire. Farste una gran buona azione per una scienziata tanto impegnata nel lavoro e tanto impedita ai fornelli ;-)

Comunque io l´ho sempre detto che se non ci assomigliassimo cosi´tanto, penserei che Sandra (Alex) e´la figlia segreta di Vissani.

Ciao da Barbara

P.S. FAAAAAAAAAAAMEEEEEEEE

Katja ha detto...

Ciao bellissime! Finalmente ho trovato il bottone per scrivervi qualche messaggio...mi fa tanto piacere leggere ogni giorno quello che avete scritto e cucinato. C'è solo un problema: mi viene tanta fame leggendo le ricette e guardando le bellissime foto. Ho appena fatto una settimana di digiuno, ma ho giá deciso se riesco un giorno a vivere in Italia diventeró una MAMMA bella grossa......
Un bacione da Berlino!! Katja