The Ravioli Experience

IMG_0601Last weekend I joined Paul, a guy I have been seeing, at his house in Bloomfield, New Jersey for a mini break.  Over the past few weeks, Paul has broken me out of a steel-enforced bubble of misery so I generally agree with his activity suggestions.  His latest idea: making homemade ravioli …the pasta, the fillings, the sauce–from scratch.  It was a very exciting idea…we had no idea what we were getting into.

I am a huge believer in learning new activities with the person you are seeing. Hands-on projects such as cooking require teamwork and test a couple’s communication and problem-solving skills, pointing to areas that you may want to address and resolve.  Dealing with communication gaps early on is key in preventing major conflict down the road.

Back to ravioli…

We had a rolling pin and a ravioli cutter.  Paul, being a carnivore, wanted a beef and pork combo for his filling, while I chose the often overlooked, yet crazy delicious pumpkin for my pasta.

meat processing, dough, old man face in dough, pumpkin on the skillet

meat processing in the Ninja, dough, old man face in dough, pumpkin mixture on the skillet

Making the pasta was surprisingly easy, although we underestimated how much we would need considering the mass quantity of meat Paul prepared…we waay underestimated it. Using only a Ninja food processor, skillet, large cooking pot, rolling pin, ravioli cutter, and a handful of ingredients, we managed to make 88 (yes eighty-eight!) pieces of ravioli in only SIX hours: 27 pumpkin and 61 meat.  Paul even cooked some cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic for a sauce-alternative. (highly recommended…we agreed they were the best part of the meal)

cooking the meat, punching out the ravioli, cooking tomatoes...6 hours later

Paul cooking the meat, punching out the ravioli, cooking tomatoes…6 hours later (I did do a lot of the work as well, but Paul did not document my accomplishments because he doesn’t have a blog to write.

So how during this 6 hour self-taught course on making fresh pasta did we manage to pass the time?…

We watched

We watched “Silver Linings Playbook” on my computer

wondered when Delilah would give up waiting for scraps to fall

We wondered when Delilah would give up waiting for scraps to fall

Paul ate yogurt to tide him over while we made more a second batch of pasta

Paul ate yogurt to tide him over as we started a second batch of pasta

By the time our “fun” project was cooked and the other eighty pieces frozen, I had lost my appetite and was pissed the entire day had been spent in a hot kitchen…the same day the house’s central air conditioner decided to die.  However, watching Silver Linings Playbook for the tenth time on my computer forced me to find our silver linings:

  • we learned we can plan and execute a project as a team
  • we can make lots of objects with raw pasta dough
  • we bickered for the first time and got over it
  • Paul looks even more adorable in the kitchen…I didn’t even mind the lack of a/c at times

And by the way, the ravioli was delicious.  I do suggest, however, making a smaller batch.

beef left, pumpkin right

beef left, pumpkin right

****all recipes can be credited to Paul’s gastronomic experiments and the google search I performed

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