When I’m making dinner for a group, I always include a pasta course–the simpler the better (4 ingredients or so)–and it seems there’s always something fresh to pull it off–tarragon, arugula, chives . . . Right now I have a bounty of perfectly ripe, juicy tomatoes from my home garden (golden cherries) plus a beautiful, knobby, multi-colored array from RR farm. My course at the Six89 Slow Foods dinner calls for about 150 pasta portions: I’m thinking ravioletta. That means I have about 7 hours of pasta making before me, the condensed version of which is this:
Last night I stirred and stretched 8 pounds of mozzarella and set on the counter to rest at room temperature. I roughly chopped the tomatoes, salted (to get rid of all those ripe juices) and loosely covered. Today, I will start the morning by working the pasta dough–15 pounds, more or less, 28 egg yolks (firstname.lastname@example.org for a more practically-sized recipe). Then, roll the pasta into 8 by 4 inch sheets. Once I have 150 squares or so, bring salty water to a boil and blanch the pasta for about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, tend to the tomatoes: strain; grate and fold in the fresh moz; sea salt and pepper to taste. Lay the pasta out like a quilt on my work surface; scoop a child’s fistful of the cheesy tomatoes into the center of each rectangle, pull the sides toward the middle and roll forward.
Set the packages onto well buttered parchment paper; scoop another dollop of butter atop each. Once the baking sheet is full of raviolettas, loosely lie another sheet of parchment over the set (so the moisture doesn’t escape while baking). Into the oven for about 10 minutes.
Now, because I have to travel with these, I will cool and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. When I arrive in Carbondale, I can pop them in the oven for about ten minutes. As they warm, brown the butter (5 pounds or so for this quantity) until it’s sweet and nutty, spoon over each ravioletta. Toss across a handful of garden basil and freshly grated parmegianno reggiano for beauty and flavor.
Off to make the ravioletta. . .