There Must Be 50 Ways

. . . To ruin ravioli.

Just choose the wrong tool, fool
Then screw up the cheese, Steve
Don’t gum up the dough, Joe
And roll it out slow . . .

Hehe, just playin’. My mom used to love that song.

Granny requested in the comments that I use yesterday’s failed ravioli as a teaching moment. As open to that excellent idea as I am, because I agree that failure is the best teacher, still, it’s hard to teach anything when you still suck at it.

We only ventured into homemade pasta last month after buying a hand-crank pasta maker. Hubby started us in the adventure, brave man that he is. He read the directions, watched some vids, and proceeded to cursing his way through a batch of fettuccini, of which a good portion went to the pigs, because the ‘noodles’ were so scrunched and mis-shaped they’d never taste right.

They always make it look so easy in the videos! Alas, manuals and videos are no substitute for hands on failures.

He tried a second time with somewhat better results, but was still discouraged. Enough so that I knew if I didn’t step up to the plate soon the new machine would end up in the back of the storage closet only to be seen again during spring cleanings.

And I know for sure ravioli is going to be my thing. Eventually. I just love to play around with fillings and shapes and assemblages and finger foods.

Ravioli is not a finger food, you might be thinking? But, toasted ravioli is! Which is why I had Mom on the mind, because it reminds me of growing up in the suburbs of St. Louis, from where this popular dish originally hails. It was on the menu of every bar and pizza joint in the region. We ate it often, and it’s so delicious.

You’d think I’d try to master simple ravioli first, right? Nope. Gotta go for the gusto first time out. At least I did it with less cursing. (Hubby was in his man cave, and so can’t verify that fact.)

I learned immediately that the special ravioli attachment was a nightmare-level mistake and quickly gave it up.

When I wrote yesterday that it was all ruined, that was before tasting it. It actually wasn’t too bad. It only remotely looked or tasted like the dish I was going for, but at least it didn’t have to go to the pigs.

As for the multiple learning opportunities, where to start. The filling was very tasty, and all from the homestead (diced liver, sausage, onion and basil), but it wasn’t diced finely enough. That might have worked out ok, except that the dough was drying out too much, too fast, because it’s so hot we have the air conditioning blasting in the kitchen with extra fans blowing, too. To try to moisten the dough sheets just made them gummy, and whether too dry or too gummy, they still tore quite a bit when I tried to form the filling between the sheets.

The dough sheets were getting stuck in the machine on one side and crimping up, I’m still not sure why. So I tried using half the recommended dough amount for shorter sheets, which worked better, but they were still somewhat lopsided with very ragged edges and some small holes and tears.

I thought I might still be able get away with it, because ‘toasted’ ravioli actually means ‘deep fried’. What better way to hide broken dough than with another layer of egg, flour and breadcrumbs, right?

Except my homemade breadcrumbs weren’t fine enough and uniformly-sized like the store-bought varieties are, so while deep frying they didn’t cook evenly. Some parts were burned, some hardly browned. My ratio of edges to filling was way off on some of them, leaving large edges so crunchy they tasted more like dough chips.

The results reminded me of that McDonald’s skit by the young Eddie Murphy!

I’ll take it in stride, and give it another try, before throwing the machine in the back of the storage closet. 😒

Author: KenshoHomestead

Creatively working toward self-sufficiency on the land.

5 thoughts on “There Must Be 50 Ways”

  1. Oh my goodness, these seem lot a lot of work. They must be really delicious to require so much work. I have to admit I don’t deep fry anything because I never know what to do with the leftover grease. Also constantly trying to cut calories wherever I can though often not very successful. This really was a teaching moment for me. I’m going to pass. I wish you good luck in your further attempts. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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