"Midnight will come tonight as it does every night." Those were Frank King's famous words as he pranced through the kitchen I was working in ---they were meant to be a comfort as we cooked as fast as we could on a busy Saturday night. At 8 o'clock, I could not see beyond the five skillets I was juggling on the stove-top and as many in the oven. Stacks of plates awaited roast chicken, seared foie gras and soft-shell crabs.
As I look out the window at the gray skies, I think of Frank, slightly modifying his famous words, "August will come as it does every year."
Last summer, I canned 24 quart jars of tomatoes, which I have judiciously used over the winter. With August just around the corner, I know I will soon again be knee deep in the coveted summertime queen of the garden. I’m more brazen using the last few jars of tomatoes in my cooking.
This week, I made ricotta ravioli, served atop garden kale and tomato coulis. The pea greens on top also came from the garden. Alas, I did not have much for more than a garnish.…
Ricotta Ravioli with Tomato Coulis
1 ½ cups fresh ricotta
¼ cup parmesan
2 tablespoons fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Mix everything together.
2 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus ¼ cup for dusting
4-5 large eggs as needed
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1. Sift 2 ¾ cup flour onto a clean counter. Make a well in the flour, and add 4 of the eggs, olive oil and the salt.
2. Beat the eggs with a fork, gradually bringing in the flour from the sides of the well, until the paste has thickened enough so the liquid will not run onto the counter. Switch from a fork to a pastry cutter. Bring all the flour into the already wet part and cut through the dough several times until it is evenly moistened. Start kneading with your hands until the dough forms a ball and looks homogenized, about 8 minutes.
3. If the dough becomes stiff, and refuses to bend, rub in a little of the remaining egg. If the dough becomes too moist, add a bit of the flour.
Work the dough by machine:
4. Divide the dough into 3 balls, and let rest under a damp towel for 20 minutes. (This is a good time to make the rest of the recipe). Start working the dough through the pasta machine starting with the widest setting. After running it through the machine, fold it into thirds, and run it through again. When the dough is smooth, run the dough through the machine through successively small settings. The dough will stretch out, and be rolled very thin.
5. When you have achieved thin sheets, you can let the dough rest for a few minutes before filling and cutting. Use the remaining egg as glue for the ravioli sheets to stick together.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1 – 16 oz. can best quality tomatoes
¼ cup white wine
1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook for 3 minutes, or until soft. Add tomatoes and white wine.
2. Cook tomatoes until much of the water has evaporated.
3. Puree tomatoes in a blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.