Monday, March 28, 2011

Crabmeat-and-Caramelized-Onion Ravioli

Last night, I was laying in bed reading a Jacques Pepin book, and I started thinking about ravioli. I wanted to have something different than the usual for dinner, and ravioli fits that bill, so after work I stopped at the HT for a few items, among them several pounds of tomatoes purchased for a bargain that I thought I would use to make a batch of sauce.

In the fridge I had a zucchini that needed to be eaten, so I chopped it up and threw it into a pot with some olive oil. I added a couple shallots, a few cloves of garlic, and another half of an onion that was also in the fridge. I rough chopped probably 12 tomatoes and threw them into the pot. Seasoned with salt, red pepper flakes, and a good dose of pasta sprinkle, I'll have sauce for pizza later in the week or for whatever I feel like making with sauce. After the sauce cooked awhile, I hit it with the immersion blender to smooth it out somewhat. It's still simmering right now.

In the meantime, I started my pasta dough: flour, eggs, salt, oil. Mixed that with a fork and kneaded it for a couple minutes. Put it under a towel, and it's resting like a baby. Pretty soon I'll go in and start rolling out my sheets. Dough should rest, and I should rest, so that's what we're doing now in addition to writing this here and listening to some Black Keys and whatever shuffles around and periodically kicking whichever dog is close enough for a boot.

Anyway, I had a few crab legs, so I cut the meat out with scissors and threw it into a skillet to warm with some caramelized onions that have been cooking since before I started this whole process. This is going to be my ravioli filling. Nice and simple, I think the sweetness of the crab will accompany the sweetness of the onions fairly well.

Oh, yeah. I just went and had a little taste. Pretty good. Kicked two dogs en route to the kitchen, and one on my return.

With a pin, I rolled the dough into sheets as thin as patience would permit, and I placed dollops of crab-onion mixture about an inch and a half apart. I brushed a little egg wash onto my pasta, and then I placed another sheet atop.

With my pizza wheel, I made raviolis; large, floppy, delicious raviolis. You must use patience and you must use care when making these things. Remove the air from the pocket. Make sure the raviolis seal, or they will fill with water, which you don't want. Homemade pasta tastes a little different than store-bought. It is toothsome and al dente, quite hearty really.

I boiled a pot of lightly salted water, and I threw those ravs into the water with a behind-the-back, over-the shoulder, no-looker. Plop. Let em cook until they're done, take em out, and lay them on a little bed o' sauce.

Top that with some freshly grated ParmReg and some fresh basil, and I am ready to eat. The sauce tastes good. I could simpy use that sauce as a vehicle for the cheese and eat it with spoon, but I have raviolis for that. The cheese also absorbs any extra liquid from the sauce.

Is it worth all of the effort to make homemade raviolis on a weeknight when they are devoured within minutes? Gustatorily and satisfactorily yes. Why not. You gotta eat.

And I didn't really kick any dogs today.