Rachel Whitread & Ravioli
Getting out of your comfort zone and doing something different is often difficult when you’re ‘not feeling it’, or you maybe haven’t got the way or the will to do so.
I often get crablike and insular, avoiding the outside world, staring at the inside of my protective shell, wondering why nothing is really going on. It’s usually worse in the winter months, when hibernation suits, but it tends to become claustrophobic and self-destructive. Fear and loathing set in, self-doubt rules the roost, whilst I try to make sense of the crazy world around me.
I left the house early in the morning with my son D (who has had the mother of all Christmas holidays – nearly 4 weeks to be exact) for a final holiday adventure into London. He’s been desperate to go to the Design Museum and I wanted to see his little face light up and I desperately need a dose of the real world – so off we went.
It was a particularly baltic Wednesday, more ferocious winds and grey skies, but the Design Museum however, was like walking into a fuzzy warm oversized bedroom, the suspended ceiling duvet-like, waiting to envelope us. It was good, but not as good as the last-minute decision to hoik it over to Tate Britain to catch the Rachel Whitread exhibition before it ends.
The exhibition was truly phenomenal. We looked at the stark reliefs of everyday objects. D absolutely jumped for joy when he identified the forms and shapes before him. It was like trying to recognise a world back to front and inside out. Details, so tiny now cast, questions and more questions – lying on the floor and looking up – amazed by the scale and size and the space these objects filled – mausoleum like.
He said it now makes him look at objects inside out – he also imagines the negative space of inanimate things – filled with something solid. Getting out and about and experiencing someone else’s world, definitely helps to put your own life into perspective.
So what better food to make than a filled form ravioli in honour of Rachel Whitread – who literally (along with the weather) blew us away.
Mini Ricotta and Mushroom RavioliPrint Recipe
- You will need mini sheet form ravioli tray
- For the Pasta dough
- 200g '00' flour
- 2 medium eggs
- Olive oil
- For the Filling
- 100g ricotta
- 75g grated pecorino or parmesan
- Fresh oregano
- Black pepper
- For the topping
- 50g toasted pine nuts
- 2 shallots
- chopped garlic
- 200g mushrooms
- Grated parmesan
- 50g cream
To make the pasta dough, make a well in the middle of the flour and add the egg yolks.
slowly kneed and mix the the flour into the egg.
Add a small slug of oil to make the dough a little more elastic - but not too sticky.
Kneed for a further 5 minutes into a ball and wrap in cling film. Set aside whilst preparing the filling.
Mix the ricotta, parmesan and oregano together and season with salt & pepper.
Toast the pine nuts in a pan and set aside.
chop the garlic, shallots and mushrooms and return to pasta dough.
Lightly flour a work surface and split the ball into to 4 equal size pieces, roll out ( or use a pasta machine, if you have one) until you have it around 3mm thick.
Layer the sheet of pasta on top of the ravioli tin and gently push into the form of the tray, being careful not to break the pasta.
Now carefully spoon a small amount of the mixture into each centre - not too much, or they will burst!
Brush the edges with a small amount of water.
Take the the next sheet and carefully layer it ontop, take the rolling pin and gently roll it over the surface of the tray to seal the edges of the ravioli, tip out onto a lightly floured surface and repeat the process until you have two ravioli duvet-like bedsheets!
Heat a large lidded frying pan filled with water. Add a pinch of salt and a spoon of olive oil to the water.
Once boiling, slowly lower the two sheets into the water and reduce the pan to a simmer. Cook for 4 minutes.
Heat another frying pan, add a small amount of oil, heat and fry the garlic, shallot and mushrooms.
Add the grated parmesan with the cream once the mushrooms are cooked through. Season to taste.
Using slotted serving tools, remove the ravioli sheet from the water onto a plate ( you could serve this on top of a bed of prepared salad or spinach).
Spoon the creamy garlic mushroom and shallot mix on top, add some more grated parmesan and the toasted pine nuts you prepared earlier, season and serve!