Are you ready to bust the myth of homemade pasta? Really – it’s so simple! Who knew? (Certainly not me).


Ah the affair of eating with friends. Shoshi and Paul are great people and a delightful couple, and like me and Bobby, new to Ithaca by way of Central America (and formerly the Bay Area). It goes on: food, agriculture, bikes, snow-lovers… There is no better way to make new friends than planning your dinner, making it, and eating together.

This past Sunday I arrived at Shoshi and Paul’s at 4pm, with the intention of learning how to make a sourdough loaf (a long, but hardly arduous process). This quickly spiraled into a side project alongside the perhaps more intriguing Homemade Ravioli and Butternut Squash Tagine (which I’ll post separately). Of course, with some Shebang! and Namaste in hand to aid our makeshift workshop.

The first activity was making the bread dough. I won’t elaborate because Paul’s skills in bread-baking are leagues beyond my limited experience with Challah. Needless to say, we did not have enough time to try the final product. However, I was overjoyed to be sent home with my own glob of starter to experiment at Cayuga St Kitchen. So stay tuned for another post to come after next Sunday’s trials (Superbowl Sourdough anyone?).

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Semolina Ravioli: Mushrooms in Sherry Reduction, and Roast Chicken and Artichoke



Ravioli Sauce and Toppings:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot or small yellow onion, chopped
  • 34 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Artichoke Roasted and Chicken Filling:

  • 1 cup artichoke puree
  • 1 cup shredded roast chicken

Mushrooms in Sherry Reduction Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • a sprinkle of herbs, like rosemary and thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, baby portabellas or a mixed variety
  • 1/3 cup sherry

Ravioli Dough:

  • 2 cups semolina flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon natural mineral salts, or sea salt
  • all-purpose flour, for dusting work surface


Ravioli Sauce and Toppings:

  1. Heat the butter in a small skillet. Add the shallot, garlic, and rosemary and saute until golden, caramelized, and crispy. Remove and whisk in the olive oil, salt and pepper. (Paul claims that sauteing in butter helps preserve the flavor. So however much butter you use, match it with the same amount of olive oil for the sauce). Set aside.
  2. Grate Parmesan cheese and set aside for sprinkling on last.

Artichoke and Roasted Chicken Filling:

  1. Whatever chicken you’ve decided to use, shred it much like pulled pork.
  2. Set both ingredients aside in a bowl.

Mushrooms in Sherry Reduction Filling:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet or frying pan. Add the garlic and saute until golden. Add the mushrooms and herbs. Saute over medium heat until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry and turn heat down to low – allow to simmer until sherry is completely reduced and then remove from heat. Set aside in a bowl.

Ravioli Dough:

  1. Prepare a pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients together. I didn’t watch how much water Paul added, but generally, add enough water to create a stretchy, not-so-sticky ball of dough. Don’t worry about being exactly right with the water quantities.
  3. Dust flour over a clean counter surface. Knead the dough into a ball. With a rolling pin, roll out as thin as possible without creating any translucent patches or tears. Use a knife or pizza roller to cut your ravioli shapes. You can do triangles, squares or circles! Or try a variety. Whatever you decide, they won’t be perfect.
  4. Next, dollop on a spoonful of filling onto one half of your ravioli. Fold over and press with a fork to seal the edges.
  5. When the ravioli are ready, drop in the boiling water in small batches (5-8 pieces at a time). When they rise to the surface of the water (or at least half do), they are ready! This will only take about 3-5 minutes, so keep watch. With a slotted spoon, remove to a colander and then to a bowl. Toss with enough sauce to coat the ravioli to keep them from sticking to each other. Repeat until you’ve cooked all the ravioli. Drizzle a final tablespoon of sauce and toss.
  6. Serve with extra sauce and grated Parmesan. Don’t forget your glass of red!

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