Back in December, while our two college daughters were visiting over their break, we decided to make homemade ravioli. This is a tradition from my husband's family. They get together late summer or early fall and hold a huge ravioli making party. One year we were in Colorado and got to join in. Another time when Cathy visiting Houston she treated our girls and son to a private lesson. Tom's mom makes certain we get some frozen ravioli to enjoy with our Christmas dinner.
This year, without any frozen ravioli to pull out of the freezer, we decided to tackle the job on our own. The whole process is one of repetition, and lots of flour. I remember Meghan commenting that she remembered a lot of flour when Cathy taught them, but until we got the project underway we didn't realize how much flour was involved! We had a whole lot of fun, learning as we went along. Kate played photographer while we rolled dough, spread it on the mold, impressed it, filled, sealed and pulled them off, only to begin again. When we finished we thought we had made too many. Turned out, it was just the right amount. Our first effort was delicious, and helped to make our Christmas Eve meal one to remember.
The recipe? Sorta like the one Cathy gave me for her famous beans! It involves developing a "feel" for what is the right amount, if you have the ingredients, amounts depend on the cook, within basic parameters. The really big items that helped was a nice pasta machine we bought at a garage sale a long time ago for only $5, a ravioli "kit", an old cookbook "Our Favorite Italian Recipes" that Cathy gave to me as a young bride, and some scribbled notes our oldest daughter, Elizabeth, made while learning to make ravioli with Cathy. Could be that it tasted great because of all the wonderful memories it invited into our conversation!
I've been a Rinaldi for over 32 years now, and I finally made my first batch of ravioli. It won't be my last, and though I'm only Italian by marriage, like Cathy, I hope this becomes another tradition to pass on to our future grandchildren.