Sunday Pasta Party

  • Recipe(s): Lovely easy caramelle with ricotta, basil and black olives (page 100); Ravioli of pecorino, potato and mint (page 102) & Oozy egg ravioli (page 106)
  • Prep: Moderate
  • Taste: Good, OK, & Good

To celebrate the second day of the Victoria day long weekend we decided to crank off 4, count’em, 4 recipes.

It sounds ambitious but really it wasn’t. We first thought to make a fresh pasta recipe, knowing that they take some time. We then realized that there are heaps of recipes in the book that require fresh pasta, so we thought if we are going to make fresh dough we may as well make a few different fillings from the book.

To do this and still make it manageable we cut down each of the fillings by 2/3 and made three different types, two raviolies and one caramelle, the later of which neither of us had eaten before.

Because we were making fresh pasta dough, the prep for all three recipes was moderate. Actually making the dough is not that hard (the mixmaster does most of the hard work) but rolling the dough out, creating your filling, and wrapping it all into a nice little package takes some time and nimble fingers, especially the oozy egg ravioli, which has an egg yolk in the centre!

We prepared and ate the caramelle first and were actually quite disappointed. It had everything that we normally like in a dish; cheese, basil, tomatoes and garlic, a quintessential pasta base really. For some reason it didn’t really work with this dish. The fresh basil on top seemed too strong for the cooked pasta and had an off-putting flavour. The olives were a nice touch and added a bit of a Mediterranean feel to the dish. Also, and this is probably my fault, the pasta seemed too thick. Not the centre of each caramelle, where the filling is, but the sides that are pinched. There was way too much dough there. Would this have made the dish better? Maybe a bit but really the flavours would have been the same. The dish definitely has potential though, and with a few tweaks it would rate much higher on the flavour to effort scale. I also think that if we were more skilled at filling fresh pasta, it would have turned out better.

The first ravioli that we made was the pecorino, potato and mint. First off, potato and pasta together? This is not something that I would have thought to put together. As with the first dish, this one did not hit our taste buds as we had anticipated. The cheese did not have enough flavour and stand up to the mint and the potato itself did not really lend anything to the dish aside from substance. We probably would not make this one again.

The final dish we made was the oozy egg ravioli. We were a bit apprehensive with this dish, as we did not find the “return of the egg salad’ recipe that we made a few weeks ago all that good. The funny thing is, this was the best dish of the three. It had the simplest ingredients but this created very clean flavours. There was nothing overbearing, like the basil and mint from the previous dishes. We also made the dough thinner on this round, which may have ameliorated the dish. This could be a cool dish to serve at a brunch with a hollandaise sauce on top, in place of eggs benedict. Something to think about…

There is one more day left in the long weekend and we plan on doing at least one more recipe tomorrow, so please check back to see how it goes.


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