Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Food Of Italy: Emiglia Romagna

Ciao Beauties,

Today in cooking class we covered and cooked from the region that I have been most excited over: Emiglia Romagna! This is where my family immigrated from and I was excited to eat something that reminded me of home. As quoted from our textbook, “The people of Emilia-Romagna eat more, care more and talk more about food than anyone else in Italy. They like nothing better than to get together, eat, drink, tell jokes, sing and discuss the merits of dishes.” - The Food of Italy by Claudia Roden. There are a variety of prodcuts stemming from this region including: Parmesano Reggiano (which was first made in Parma and first sold in Reggio,) Balsamic Vinegar, Tortellini, Prosciutto di Parma, and Mortadella. Today we are making fresh ravioli pasta with cheese and spinach stuffing in a ragu sauce and Panna Cotta with berry sauce. 

Tortellini Alle Erbette
Panna Cotta Con Berry

The Ravioli:
2 eggs and 200 grams of flour
10 oz of spinach
8 oz ricotta
1 egg
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and Pepper
2 oz melted butter
2 oz of freshly grated Parmesian

For the ragu sauce, chop up an onion, a carrot, some celery, a garlic clove, and some parsley. Melt some butter with oil in a pot and sauté everything just chopped, and add a few basil leaves. (Fun fact: Don't chop basil as it will eliminate the flavor!) After it has cooked, add two to three different types of meat. We used pork, beef, and sausage. Cook until the meat is brown. Add some red wine, and simmer until it evaporates. Then add some salt and pepper, a bay leaf, tomato sauce, and a little meat stock. Let it cook for 2 to 3 hours.

For the ravioli, make the fresh past by combining flour, eggs, pinch of salt, drizzle of oil and kneading it with your hands. After it’s smooth and elastic, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest. 

For the filling, wash some fresh spinach and cook it for a couple of minutes  in boiling water until the spinach boils down. Then drain it, chop it up, and let it cool. Add about 8 ounces of ricotta, 1 egg, a pinch of salt and pepper, a pinch of nutmeg and about 2 ounces of grated Parmesan; mix it all up. 

Using a pasta press and roll out some long, thin sheets. Put one sheet down on a floured surface. Dot it with mounds of the filling. Then cover with another sheet, pressing with your fingers around the mounds to stick the dough together. Use a pastry wheel to cut out the ravioli. Boil them for a few minutes until they are done. Toss them in a skillet with the ragu sauce to coat. Then, place a serving platter. Put the bay leaf on top to decorate.
The Panna Cotta:
1/2 Pint of double cream
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1 Vanilla bean
3 Geletin Sheets
Put half a pint of cream with about 2 tablespoons of sugar in a pot. Add a vanilla bean and let it simmer 2 or 3 minutes, but don’t boil. Dissolve gelatin (1 teaspoon powdered gelatin, or 3 gelatin sheets) in cold water and then beat well into the cream. Pour into little dishes. Put it in the fridge to chill. For the panna cotta sauce, we made two kinds: strawberry and blackberry. Just put berries in a blender with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and some sugar and blend until well done. Once the gelatin is chilled, turn the panna cotta dish upside down onto a plate drizzled with sauce. 

Next week we will be studying the beautiful region that I am calling home for now: Tuscany! I'll be in Rome this weekend. See you all on Monday with my weekend recap!
Eternally yours,


Maddy said...

OMG!! Fresh Ravioli!! It looks soo amazing, especially compared to the frozen stuff I had the other day!

And the Panna Cotta looks divine!

Cafe Fashionista said...

Ooh, I love that you are sharing true authentic Italian recipes here. My mother is going to SWOON at the ravioli!! :)

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

You did a great job - everything looks delicious!

I'm going to Italy in a few months and can't wait to eat there!

Chic 'n Cheap Living

Sherin said...

Both look so delicious!! The Panna Cotta is calling out my name.

Haute World said...

Oooh, I'm practically drooling here! I've always wanted to make my own fresh pasta, but I keep putting it off. The Panna Cotta looks incredible as well. I really have to try these out sometime.

And you're very lucky you get to spend a semester in Florence! Definitely my favorite Italian city.