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Chef for Hire Recipes - November 3, 2002

Courtesy of Chef Lisa Jaeger
Chef for Hire, LLC

Spinach Ravioli
Tomato Saffron Cream Sauce


Spinach Ravioli
Yields 40-50

2 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs
½ cup frozen spinach squeezed dry and chopped fine
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup water

Ravioli filling:
1½ cups ricotta
3 tablespoons dried Italian herb mix
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper

You will need a lot of counter space for this project. Place the flour on a clean counter.  Make a well in the center of the flour. Crack one egg in the center.  With a fork scramble the egg in the middle taking a bit of flour from the sides of the well.  Add half of the spinach and continue to take the flour to the middle add the second egg. Continuing to incorporate the egg into the mix. Add a water a bit at a time to make the mixture hold together. Add the last of the spinach and a bit more water.  It will seem like a sticky mess, but, keep gathering the mix together until you have a ball.  Set the ball aside and clean up the counter of any flour that didn't make it to the ball. Dust the clean and dry counter with flour and knead dough.   Pressing the dough out, and turning a quarter turn to the left, fold the top to the center and turn again a quarter to the left. Knead for about 2-3 minutes. Dust the ball with flour. Cut the ball into 4 smaller ones.  Wrap 3 of the balls in plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out. Prepare the filling by combining all the ingredients.

You can roll the first ball out with a rolling pin, if you like. Try to roll it thin but not so much that it may tear the dough. If you have a pasta rolling machine ( which is what I use) it is easier. Start with the first ball of dough and flatten to a disk. Starting on the first setting, send it through the roller.  Do not be dismayed if it turns out ripped, just fold it in half and send it through again. Each time you send it through a dial setting you should lightly dust the sheet with flour. Roll  out through dials 1-6. Now you have a long strip of dough, cut this in half.  Spacing about 1 inch apart put a tablespoon of filling on the lower half of the dough. you should get about 5 or 6 out of each side.  With water, wet the edges and the middle in between the filling. Fold the top over the filling.  Seal by pressing the top fold to the edges of the bottom try to get as much air out of the raviolis as possible.  Cut in between each of them.  You can score each of the three sides with a fork. Be careful not to puncture the dough or the filling will leak out when you cook them.  Dust raviolis with flour and place on a cookie sheet.  Do not stack them or they will stick together. These can be wrapped with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready for cooking.

In a large pot of slow boiling water, drop in each ravioli to cook.  Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, and remove carefully from the water with a slotted spoon.  Top with sauce of your choosing.  Eat and enjoy!

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Tomato Saffron Cream Sauce
Yields 4 servings

¼ teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons white wine
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic
2 cups fresh tomatoes diced
½ cup heavy cream
Fresh ground pepper
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan

In a small cup, add the wine to the saffron and allow the steep for 10 minutes.  In a sauce pan, gently heat the olive oil at medium heat.  Add the garlic making sure you don't burn it.  Add the tomatoes and cook for five minutes. Add the saffron and wine.  Reduce the heat to medium low. Season with salt and pepper.  Add cream and grated Parmesan cheese. Serve over Raviolis or your favorite pasta.

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