Last week, Paula and I invited her father and his wife over for dinner. She wanted to try making ravioli again to see if we could improve on our previous efforts. We managed to do that and I will write about the changes below. Everyone enjoyed the meal, which included a strawberry rhubarb pie that Paula made for dessert.

I made the filling in the afternoon before our guests arrived. I made it the same way as I did the week before. That’s because we thought the filling was fantastic.

First I finely chopped two shallots and 5 cloves of garlic. Then I sauteed them until they were soft and most of the moisture had been evaporated. While the shallots and garlic were cooking, I chopped up about 10 ounces of cremini mushrooms in the food processor. I also chopped up the reconstituted ounce of dried porcini mushrooms.

After I had cooked the shallots and garlic for about 5 minutes, I added the mushrooms. I continued to cook the mixture over medium heat. After about 3 minutes on the heat, I added the liquid that was created when I reconstituted the porcini. I continued to cook them for another 10 minutes over medium heat until most of their moisture had been evaporated.

By the time that I finished cooking everything, I had a thick, intense mushroom mixture. I kept this in the refrigerator until we made the ravioli on Thursday. Before adding the filling to the ravioli, I added 1/4 cup of cream cheese to the mushroom mixture and stirred it together.

Paula used a standard pasta dough recipe, She used the 2 cups of 00 flour that we keep on hand for our homemade pizza. She added 3 eggs to the flour and kneaded the dough until everything was combined.

This week we changed our strategy a little when it came to making the ravioli. First, we used our pasta maker to get the dough into a long thin strip that would fit the ravioli maker. Then we used a rolling pin to roll out the dough even thinner. Last week Paula felt like the dough was too thick on the final ravioli so we wanted to make it thinner this week. Using the rolling pin was the trick! When we finally enjoyed the ravioli, we could taste the difference. The dough did not overwhelm the sauce like it did on our first attempt. Once again, we ended up with at least 18 good sized ravioli. This time we even had a little extra dough that I turned into pappardelle and cooked with the ravioli.

I cooked the ravioli in boiling water for about 7 minutes. When they were done cooking, we put the ravioli in shallow dishes and poured some really good olive oil over them. Then we sprinkled a little grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the ravioli and enjoyed the product of our “hard” work!

Once again, we enjoyed the ravioli with a salad, which provided just the right touch. It was truly delicious and everyone enjoyed the meal! Paula and I also felt like we had figured out how to ravioli so we may try this again but with a different filling next time.

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