I’ve been tackling some different types of ravioli each week. I assemble these hand-crafted masterpieces for private weekly clients, personal training clients, and ONLY if there’s extra, my own family.
I dabbled in them a bit while in New York City at the International Culinary Center. I didn’t truly learn the trade until I met la maestra dello raviolo, Pina di Puglia.
While interning at the world famous gastronomic market, Peck of Milano in Italy, I was granted the opportunity to work in all parts of the gourmet kitchen. Out of my 3 month experience, I was placed for about 2 weeks in Pasta. I worked under Pina and 2 other employees making varieties of fresh pasta each day for the store front. Pina took me under her wing and instructed me on the challenging and delicate process. Roughly, here are the steps: 1. the fillings must be cooked, mixed, and tasted (cucinare gli ingredienti). 2. the pasta is mixed, rolled, rolled some more, rolled just a little more and then spread (stendere la pasta). 3. The fillings are added and the pasta is closed and cut (formare gli ravioli).
I will say that the main challenge is extracting all the air from the filling part and closing the dough just perfectly with your hand. Pina was the master. I was the grasshopper.
While I am by no means an expert, I learned a skill that will be embedded in me for the rest of my chef life. I hope to only improve and become more efficient. When it’s all said and done now a days, it takes about 5 hours for me to make 7 dozen. I don’t have the fancy pasta rolling equipment or the commercial kitchen mixers. I’ve got a set of hands, my crank pasta roller, and on occasion a helper or two;) (see photo below!) I’m attempting each week to improve. Stay tuned for more ravioli updates!