Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tis' the Season to Nosh!

And so we have begun the season of "The Nosh."

Nosh – to eat food enthusiastically or greedily

I love this time of year. Everything is festive, especially the food. I don't know about your house, but at holiday time, we indulge. Usually I'm not the baker extraordinaire; I much prefer cooking. Close to Christmas, I get the itch, and I end up baking at least 20 different types of treats. My cookie trays are an art form, to me, and I take painstaking care to perfect them for delivery to neighbors, friends and family every Christmas Eve morning.

 Here's a pic from one year.

Our parties revolve around food. Christmas Eve is the ultimate. Everyone brings something to my Uncle Vince's house where we have a display of noshing fit for royalty.Stuffed artichokes, Pizzachina, stuffed banana peppers, ham, marinated vegetable platter, fried cauliflower and mushrooms, pasta, etc.. etc...  The buffet is an overflowing apex of pleasure where we converge and chatter and tease and love on one another as family does.

It's so beautiful. It's so extraordinarily traditional. 

To kick off the season of the nosh, I have, as promised, the recipe for my family’s homemade Thanksgiving ravioli. My mother willingly shared the recipe, because she doesn’t believe anyone will make them to taste like ours.

     But, I believe in you!

     FYI, the measurements are questionable. We are Italian. We don’t really measure out ingredients!

     You will need a pasta machine for this recipe.

Babe’s Ravioli

In food processor mix for dough:
  3 Cups flour
  3 eggs
  1 tablespoon oil
  Add water a little at a time until dough forms into a ball.

2 lbs ground Veal
1 lb. ground sausage   We use Jimmy Deans Original recipe. 
Approximately 6 cloves minced garlic
About 1 cup chopped fine parsley
10 oz. pack of chopped frozen spinach,  thawed with all of the liquid squeezed out.  
1 small chopped onion
3/4 cup Romano cheese
dash salt and pepper
3-6 eggs, depending on the consistency. Should feel a little wetter than a meatball mixture.


Mix all of the filling ingredients together. My mother uses the food processor to chop the garlic, parsley, and onion then mixes in the rest by hand in a large bowl. Once the filling feels similar to meatball mix but slightly wetter, you’re good.

Use a food processor to make the dough and then follow your pasta machine’s directions for rolling it out into sheets. With ours, we start on a high gage so that the flattened dough fits through the slot. Then, we work our way down through the thinner settings until it’s about on the second or third to thinnest notch. You want the dough to be thick enough so that the filling can be wrapped inside. You don’t want it to split apart during boiling.

After we roll the dough into sheets, we lay it flat on a floured surface and fill it, about ¾ tsp to  1 teaspoon per rav. My aunt Ceil might be shaking a finger at me from Heaven, admonishing “No it’s a ½ tsp, Dana!” She always yelled at us that we made them to big, but I like a nice, hearty ravioli. You can’t really screw them up by making them bigger.

As shown in the pic below, we fill one long strip then fold it over. 

We then use a juice glass to cut the ravioli into little half-moons.

 We press the edges closed with a fork and pierce the centers then lay them in rows on waxed paper covered baking sheets. 

The ravs are frozen, bagged and stored for Thanksgiving day, when we boil them until they float then toss them with delicious homemade sauce.

The ravs are a  treat we only get to enjoy a few times a year, but the best part about making them is the fun we have together, carrying on a delicious family tradition that would make our ancestors proud.

Good luck! If you make a batch of ravioli, please write and tell me how it works out for you. I can’t wait to hear how much your family loves them! In the coming posts, I'll be sharing more sweet and savory recipes! People are always looking for a great holiday appetizer to bring to a party. I have a few up my sleeve that I’m willing to share, and I’ll post my very favorite (and everyone else’s) next week. Later in the month, I'll have some special cookie recipes for you to include on your cookie tray!

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