After so many days off, I'm getting confused!
Woke up to light snow just after 7:00 AM. A cup of coffee was breakfast, again (its hard to work up enthusiasm for, say, scrambled eggs when people around you are eating flax seeds, lol!).
Today's a little different as Sadie is not feeling well. So, Luanne eventually headed out to the hospital to see her Mom alone. Sadie seemed content enough reading in the living room and, after she promised not to die while I was out, I left, too, to run some errands.
I went to Office Depot and got some printer paper (so I could take my Mom the Blog) and then dropped into Westborn for some things. I decided tonight would be an all-Italian dinner, so upon my return, I began to make a rustic, vegetarian Minestrone soup.
I saut�ed some fine-diced onions and grated carrots in olive oil. Then I added three minced cloves of fresh garlic and two unpeeled russet potatoes, cut into small cubes. I added a whole box of vegetable broth and an additional 1 1/2 cups of water that I had combined and warmed in another sauce pan.
I peeled, then cut up three small zucchini squash into small cubes (trying to mimic the potatoes' size) and added them. I was unable to find the Cannelli Beans I wanted at Westborn, so I settle for canned Great Northern beans. I added about 1/2 jar (maybe 3 1/2 or 4 cups) of the beans to the soup and one regular-sized can of diced tomatoes. As a last inspiration, I added about half of the left-over cooked rutabagas, again cut the same size as the potatoes and squash.
I'd been seasoning with salt and pepper right along, but now I went to the herbs: just a single bay leaf, some dried oregano and a big pile of fresh basil, rolled and cut into a chiffanade. I let all that get happy while I made some pasta dough.
I mounded 1 1/2 cups of flour on the counter, made a well in the middle and added three large eggs. I started scrambling the eggs and mixing in the flour with a fork, then switched to just using my hands. Once I got a ball of dough, I went to the pasta machine.
Oh, oh! Problem! My old kitchen table worked fine with the clamp you use to secure the pasta maker. Nothing in my current kitchen configuration did! I settle on the rolling table, but the crank handle hit the clamp unless you had it half-way pulled out. But, I soldiered on! Once I got the dough flattened, I started to assemble the ravioli.
I mixed cooked, then cooled spinach (after wringing it out with a kitchen towel) with ricotta cheese for the filling. Using my pasta cutters (the roller works much better than the square "stamp" thingie, BTW), I ended up with 15 3-inch squares of ravioli. I set them on the big wood cutting board to dry, turning them every 15 minutes or so.
Sadie made a nice salad about 6:00 PM and Luanne showed up about 1/2 hour later. We ate the salad, then the soup, accompanied by thick slices from a round sour dough bread (from Westborn). I offered to make it into garlic bread, but we all agreed it looked great just the way it was! After these two courses, we rested and I made the ravioli.
Fresh pasta doesn't have to cook nearly as long as dried, so it was like 3-5 minutes to finish the ravioli. I made a sauce by infusing fresh sage leaves in olive oil, then adding a stick of butter to slowly melt. So, each plate of five ravioli got a splash of sauce and two or three sage leaves, topped with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
The ladies said they loved it (although Lu surreptitiously wiped off most of the butter when she thought I wasn't looking). Personally, it was pretty good, but I think it would have been better if I'd made the dough a bit thinner. It seemed a bit chewy to me.
We cleaned up and then sat at the kitchen table while they showed me about half of the many, many pictures they took of their Arizona trip and the mule ride into the Grand Canyon. It was about 8:30 PM when I cried "Uncle" and we all went to wash up for bed.