What We Ate
A weblog of culinary experiences
December 10, 2002
I was intending to use the chorizo sausage for the arroz con pollo I made last week but somehow that never happened. With Nadia in the middle of exams and me sitting at home with nothing to do, I decided to undertake a but of a culinary adventure. I classify this as an adventure because I have never made ravioli from scratch and the last time I tried to make pasta, it didn't turn out so well. My problems before with the pasta seemed to be the ratio of flour to liquid. My dough was always drier than it should have been and I had to add more egg and oil to compensate. The same thing happened this time, but along the way I made a subtle discovery in the recipe that I had overlooked before. The part I was missing was that you don't have to use all the flour. It's much less daunting to know that it's ok and even expected to leave some amount of hard floury bits on the counter when bringing the dough together. All the same, now that I've figured out what was interfering with my pasta making attempts, I'll probably be inclined to use the food processor next time.
With the pasta problem solved, I move next to the filling. I knew that I wanted to use the chorizo in the filling, so I looked around for a recipe for a simple meat sauce filling. I found a very basic one in How To Cook Everything that was really just slow cooked meat. I was a little uneasy about stuffing the ravioli with just meat, so I added some ricotta to soften it up. The chorizo had a slightly spicy base and the ricotta did a nice job of balancing that out.
The ravioli were delicious, though I think Nadia, having not had to work at making them for 3 hours, enjoyed them more than I did. I did enjoy them, but I think that taste of the final product was only a bit more worth it than the effort involved. This is certainly a dish that is more pleasant to make with help. We ended up with many more than we needed and froze those that we didn't cook. As I'm writing this more than a week after the fact, I can vouch for the fact that they are just as good out of the freezer. Without the fatigue of slaving over the counter, assembling ravioli for hours, the frozen ones tasted even better to me than the originals.
Chorizo Ravioli Filling
1/2 lb uncooked chorizo sausages
Strip the casing from te sausages and cut the meat inside into small chunks. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage meat and the ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking up lumps, until it loses its color. Add the wine and turn the heat to low. Cook, partially covered, for about 45 minutes or until the meat is very tender. Off the heat, add the garlic and parsley. Let the mixture cool slightly then add the egg, Parmesan and ricotta. If the mixture is too liquidy, add some bread crumbs.