Diary of a Home Cook
My cousin Geraldine Marretta Harris, a Mother and a marvelous home cook in her own right, shared a memory of cooking in our family you will enjoy. One thing I have to say about our Italian American family, the children were always included in the cooking if they were available and interested. That was back before the day of television and video games. Of course, we loved to be in the middle of things, so we developed a love of cooking at an early age. I think children are still interested but not invited as often as could be. It was such fun being at the table helping with pastas or breads or cookies, how can we not share these experiences with our family?
I don’t personally remember being a part of the ravioli making but Gerri’s story is heartwarming.
Gerri shares: “ I remember as a child the family gatherings that took place in our home or at one of my aunt’s homes. We’d all gather on a Saturday to make raviolis. My Aunt Pauline had a really long table in her kitchen (or so it seemed to be long when I was little) and she’d put each of us girls at the table with a piece of dough to spread out with a stick (rolling pin) and showed us what to do. (We had a lot of flour available to keep the dough from sticking to the table.) As we rolled the dough my cousins would see who could get the dough just right for making raviolis. We rolled, cut into long strips and then we’d cut them again into squares. My aunt came up behind us and put just enough of the cheese or meat mixture in the center of the ravioli. Then we’d put two squares together (one empty square on top of a filled square), press the edges with the tines of a fork to make sure the cheese couldn’t escape before placing them in the hot salted water. It was very interesting being brought up in a Sicilian home. Family gatherings were filled with a whole lot of good food, lots of love, music and dancing.”
I have had the good fortune of eating home made ravioli and trust me, the ravioli you get in the store is a far cry from the goodness of home made. If you want to try it one day, it’s a great bonding experience with family and/or friends. Use a simple fresh pasta recipe, roll out dough as Gerri describes and put a filling of my Rigoletto’s Favorite Ricotta Cheese filling, or meatballs, in the center and have an indescribably delicious meal. The tender ravioli take about 3 minutes to cook and drain. Just a little pasta sauce, tomato or alfredo, over the top seals the deal.
Ya’ll have a down home delicious day now, and do it the Italian American way!
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Ya’ll have a down home delicious day now and come back to see us again soon!