Just hours before the clock turned 2015 it occurred to me that I’d yet to teach my only child, Ellis, how to roll out homemade pasta. (Yes, these are the thoughts that keep me up at night.) How could this have happened? What kind of negligent mother am I?
I grew up turning out both ravioli and pierogies with my mom by the time I was five. These joyful and serene memories – in an otherwise frenetic household of five siblings who would rather play or prank than create dozens of these delightful packets by rote – were clear, early indications of a life as a food stylist.
Back to New Year's Eve. I was feeling pangs of end-of-lineage demise. If Ellis doesn’t learn to create pasta from scratch now, if we don’t do this together right now, who in the family will carry the torch? A lot of pressure for an only child? Hey, you gotta be tough to make a tender ravioli.
So out came the flour and eggs and incredibly long, supple sheets winding through the old but forever shiny manual pasta crank. Out came the wood-handled pasta wheel (same one I used at Ellis’ age) to make that cool, classic zig-zag pattern. Out came Ellis’ inner pasta maker, zipping around his beet greens-shallot-white pepper filled little packets of joy.
As the clock neared midnight we settled into our homemade ravioli, garnished with caviar, crème fraiche and chives.
Happy New Year!
LISA'S (AND NOW ELLIS') HOMEMADE RAVIOLI
(Recipe makes 40-50 ravioli)
INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING:
1 large shallot – minced
2 cups finely chopped (de-ribbed) beet greens
1½ cups whole milk ricotta
¼ cup grated Parmesan
1 beaten egg white
Ground white pepper and salt to taste
INGREDIENTS FOR PASTA DOUGH:
3 cups flour, plus more for kneading
½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 tsp. olive oil
Michael Tusk’s pasta/ravioli demo in Fine Cooking is excellent for technique. (The specialty flours weren’t on hand nor the seven egg yolks. I went for a modified version of his recipe.)