Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pasta Mamas!

My dear friend MM is an amazing chef (literally- she worked in NYC at a French restaurant- she's totally legit.) So imagine my delight when she agreed to spend an evening cooking with me! After three days spent pouring over various cookbooks, magazines, and online pictures I decided that we would make fresh goat cheese and spinach raviolis with a light tomato basil sauce.

We made the pasta dough, cut out the ravioli circles, quickly blanched the spinach to create the filling, gently sealed each ravioli, and made the sauce from fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, green onions, and a little bit of fresh lemon juice.

The finished product was heavenly! The balance between the creamy ravioli filling and the acidic tomato sauce was just right. The success of the dish hung on a few helpful tips MM provided along the way- things I would have never thought to do! Here are a few:
1. add a dash of cayenne pepper to the finely chopped garlic cloves while they're roasting- it adds a yummy and subtle kick to the sauce!
2. add some salt to the water in which the spinach blanches- this gives a little bit of seasoning to the leaves. In MM's words, "It should taste like the sea." Note: I later read the same tip in Julia Child's book, so we're now doubly advised!
3. prick the raviolis each just once with a needle. This allows the heat inside the ravioli to escape without causing the pasta pocket to rupture.

Hopefully MM will have a break in her schedule soon to do a quick interview for Domestic in the District on other helpful kitchen tips!

Tonight I'm going to re-attempting the sauce we created that night, hopefully I can recreate it! If I can, I'll post it so you can give it a shot on your own.

What kitchen adventures are you enjoying these days?

-Domestic in the District

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