A couple weeks ago, I decided to make ravioli again (and some spaghetti for Christy, the birthday girl!). Since I had to pasta maker out anyway, I thought it would be a good night to try some different ravioli recipes. I made pasta for the first time late February and had so much fun. I made two different types of ravioli that night, three cheese and spinach and ricotta. They were both totally amazing, but I wanted to try something new. Unfortunately, I let my mom recommend one new idea: meat. Are you surprised? I utterly refused to do sausage like she asked for, but I thought maybe I could give shrimp a try. A quick search on the internet, and I came up with shrimp and chive ravioli. Sure, soumds good, right? Then to balance it out, I decided to make four cheese ravioli so that I would have something to eat! Kenzie made tomato sauce again and left me to the pasta making.
Sadly, the pasta making itself was not the fun, happy experience it had been the first time. Something was wonky with my pasta machine; the lever kept sticking and required way too much effort to turn the handle (Alex has since fixed it, thank god!). But here's the worst part: making the shrimp and chive ravioli was probably the grossest experience I have ever had. Because, I already have grown to hate working with shrimp. Even the ones that are already deveined still need work (unless you enjoy eating spinal columns... which I do not... so I have to take those out). And these ones also had to be peeled too. So I was already cranky. Then I finished reading the recipe: you don't cook the shrimp. You stuff your raviolis with raw shrimp, and they cook while the pasta boils. Whatever, that's really weird, but fine. That wasn't even the most upsetting part for me. The most horrific thing was that you have to chop the filling in a food processor. That means that basil, chives, egg white, and raw shrimp gets all chopped up into the most horrifying paste you could ever imagine. I mean, really. Raw shrimp paste?!? UGH. It didn't help that Kenzie kept singing "fishy fish paaaaaste" to the tune of the McDonald's "fishy fishyyyyyy" commercial. I was practically brought to tears spooning that repulsive mass of raw seafood into my ravioli mold.
When it was actually time to eat them, I was unable to give them a fair chance. The preparation had soured me towards these raviolis. Kenzie and my mom both insisted that they liked them (and Mom even froze the leftovers to eat again) but I was too upset and nauseous from the fish paste experience, so I can't give you a good explanation of their flavors. I will say that the original recipe calls for a grape tomato sauce, which I did not make. However, the sauce does not make or break this recipe. The fact that you end up working with fish paste means that the Tucker house has seen its last shrimp and chive ravioli.
Luckily, the four cheese ravioli went a whole lot better. The cheeses are ricotta, mozzarella, fontina, and parmesan. They're also flavored with garlic, oregano, basil, parsley, and salt and pepper, so there's a lot going on in these little pockets. They are really, really good raviolis; I am not sure I will ever be able to happily eat frozen ones again after this!
Final notes: shrimp raviolis are not for the faint of heart, but four cheese raviolis are incredible.
shrimp and chive ravioli
from Food Network.com
2) When ready, stuff the raviolis with the filling. Boil for 4 minutes in salted water, or until they float to the top. Do not overcrowd the pot. Makes 24 raviolis.
four cheese ravioli
from Annie's Eats
½ cup part-skim ricotta
½ cup shredded mozzarella
½ cup shredded fontina
½ cup shredded parmesan
1 clove garlic, finely minced
¼ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. dried parsley
¼ tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Marinara sauce, for serving
1) In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, fontina, parmesan, garlic, and spices. Mix well to blend.
2) Fill raviolis.
3) Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the ravioli until al dente, about 5 minutes. Serve in warmed bowls with marinara sauce.