Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I have been consumed with holiday baking and cooking the last several days. I am tired and have a lot left to do, but it is such a satisfied kind of tired. This weekend, I tried my hand at homemade pasta using my my grandfathers amazing old past machine that I had the honor of inheriting. The machine was one of the first pasta machines ever made and is solid as a rock, making quick work of rolling the dough, even after all these years.

I made two kinds of ravioli and also a little bit of regular pasta with the remaining dough. The texture and flavor was outstanding all around.

Pasta Dough

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 eggs
water as needed starting with 1/3 cup


I used an electric stand mixer for my dough and made sure to drizzle small amounts of water until the dough just came together. It made a beautifully satiny dough that was easy to work with.

For some of the ravioli, I made a filling of homemade pesto and fresh ricotta cheese. For the others, I created a filling of finely chopped fresh cremini mushrooms, dried porchinis that I reconstituted and chopped, a touch of butter, a little chicken bouillon, some grated Romano and a sprinkling of bread crumbs. They were delicate and delicious tossed with a little olive oil and Romano cheese!

Last night I was up until 2 am baking Pita Piatas, large nut and raisin rolls kissed with cinnamon, sugar and whiskey. These are a Calabrese tradition and a family favorite. I learned how to make them from my Aunt Rosie last year. Mine turned out really nice again this year. I will post some pictures of them soon. In the meantime, happy holiday baking!

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