Stories + recipes from the heart - share yours by emailing them us at info@repastsupplyco.com.

Ricotta-Goat Cheese Ravioli With Radishes

This recipe courtesy of Robyn Andrea

Ingredients

  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4-6 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 ounces garlic and herb goat cheese
  • ¼ cup Parmeggianno-Reggianno cheese, freshly grated
  • Lemon zest, from one lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ pound radishes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Dough: Whisk together flours with salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs with 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of water. Pour egg mixture into flour little by little while mixing with a pastry blender to incorporate evenly. Begin to knead with your hand to bring all of the dough together in a single ball. In small increments, drizzle with up to 2 tablespoons more water, as needed, to collect remaining flour into the ball of dough. Knead dough for 5-7 minutes until soft and bounces back slowly. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour to soften and make easier to roll out.
  2. Filling: Stir together ricotta, goat cheese, Parmeggianno-Reggiano and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide dough in half, keeping half in the plastic wrap to prevent drying. With a rolling pin, roll dough as thin as possible into a rectangular shape. Cover with plastic while rolling out the remaining half of dough to as thin as possible while matching the shape of the first half. Spread filling evenly on dough, leaving at least ½ inch of dough uncovered along the edges and about ¼ of the dough uncovered at the back. Gently lay the the other half of dough on top, pulling to align the shapes. Start the ravioli roller along the broad line (darker wood on my roller) to seal the edge then firmly and evenly press to the other side. Cut into individual ravioli, removing any unstuffed dough from the edges..
  4. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to boil over high heat. Once boiling, lower the temperature to medium high and drop in a serving of ravioli. Cook for 2-4 minutes before removing with a slotted spoon.
  5. Slice radish very thinly and place in a bowl of ice water to crisp. In a sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt butter with olive oil and water and season with freshly ground black pepper. When ravioli is cooked, toss gently in butter sauce. Plate about 6 ravioli per serving, topping with radish. Garnish with fresh herbs or microgreens.
  6. Trimmings from unstuffed ravioli can be lightly fried in butter sauce. Remaining stuffed ravioli can be frozen on a flat surface before storing in a freezer bag.

Full Recipe Available Here: www.runawayapricot.com

Whole Grain Peach & Rosemary Ravioli with Parmesan

This recipe courtesy of Kenan Hill. 

I’ve been dreading the end of peach season because they’ve been SO good this year. In fact, I haven’t developed nearly as many peach recipes as I planned to because I can’t stop eating inhaling the ones I get. Anyhow, one lucky peach made it out of the fruit bowl (and past my mouth) to get broiled with honey and turned into the most glorious sweet and savory ravioli filling. Some rosemary from my balcony garden and a big dollop of ricotta completed the filling and a simple drizzle of olive oil and some freshly grated parmesan were all I needed to be in a summery-sweet-and-savory-pasta-filled heaven. In case you missed it, you can click here and here to read about the product that spurred my recent obsession with ravioli.

I generally try to stick to whole grains, but I wasn’t sure how they’d do in pasta dough. Ravioli dough needs to be especially stretchy; much to my delight, whole wheat flour worked just fine. For more details and photos of the ravioli making process, see how to make ravioli from scratchThis makes 18-24 ravioli, enough for 2-3 people.


Ingredients:

2 cups (+/- 8 oz) whole wheat flour

2 large eggs

1 Tbsp olive oil

water

1 medium peach

1 Tbsp honey

1/3 c ricotta cheese

1 Tbsp+ fresh rosemary, finely chopped

salt + pepper

1-2 Tbsp olive oil or melted butter

1/8 c grated parmesan (or to taste)


Special equipment:

regular rolling pin

ravioli rolling pin, ravioli stamp, ravioli tray, some other ravioli-making contraption, or a fork

zig-zag pasta cutter or regular pizza cutter

oven/broiler safe baking dish


Make the dough:

Start with 2 c (about 8 oz) whole wheat flour in a bowl or in a mound on your counter. (For the record, I think it’s way more fun to do it on the counter like they always do in cooking shows.) Form a well in the middle of the flour by making wide and shallow indentation. Add 2 eggs, 1 T olive oil, and 1 T water in well. Using a fork, gently whisk wet ingredients in a circular motion, gradually incorporating flour. Be careful not to break the “walls” of the well so the wet ingredients don’t spill out! Once about half of the flour is incorporated, the wet part is thick enough not to spill out. Continue mixing with your hands until most of flour is combined into the dough. Add more water as necessary. If using a bowl, turn dough out onto a floured surface.

Using the heels of your hands, knead dough by folding and pressing. Put your body weight into it! If dough is too dry, sprinkle on more water a little at a time. Knead for at least 5-10 minutes until dough stretches more than it breaks. Dough should be a little sticky.

After kneading, form the dough into a ball and place it on a floured surface. Lightly coat the top of the dough with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour.


Make the filling:

Preheat oven to broil (if you don’t have a broiler setting, put it on the highest temperature possible).

Rinse peach, gently rubbing to remove fuzz, and dry thoroughly. Optional: remove peel (I leave it on).

Dice peach and place in oven/broiler safe dish. Drizzle peaches with 1 Tbsp honey.

Broil until tips of peaches begin to brown, anywhere from 3-7 minutes, depending on your oven.

Using a potato masher or fork, smash peaches until no large chunks remain. For stubborn or less ripe peaches, a quick pulse or two in a food processor should work. Set aside to cool.

When peaches are cool enough to touch, combine them with 1/3 c well drained ricotta cheese, 1 Tbsp or more finely chopped rosemary, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.


Make the ravioli:

After the pasta dough rests, cut into 2 even pieces. Flour a clean surface and roll each piece of dough into very thin, similarly sized sheets.  You should be able to see through the dough.

To form the ravioli, follow the instructions with whatever tool you’re using, or use the following outlines:

Ravioli rolling pin: Evenly spread the ricotta mixture over one sheet of pasta dough, leaving at least a 2 inch buffer area around the edges. Place the second sheet of dough on top. Roll ravioli rolling pin over dough and filling, applying firm but even pressure. Using a pasta or pizza cutter, cut individual ravioli apart.

Ravioli tray: Lay one sheet of pasta dough over the ravioli tray. Using your thumb, gently press the dough down into each indention. Spoon ricotta filling into each spot. Roll pin over tray to seal and cut ravioli.

Fork or ravioli stamp: Using a pizza or pasta cutter, cut evenly-sized squares (about 2″ x 2″ or the dimensions of your stamp) of pasta dough. Spoon a small amount of ricotta filling onto a square of dough. Cover with another square and press with stamp to seal edges, or use the tines of a fork to seal edges. Alternatively, you can place ricotta filling in the center of a square piece of dough, fold it over into a triangle and seal the edges with a stamp or fork.

If not cooking right away, see notes for instructions on storing ravioli.


Cook the ravioli:

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Once boiling, generously salt water and bring back to rapid boil.

Add ravioli to water and cook 3-5 minutes or until pasta rises to top of water. Cook in batches if necessary to avoid crowding.

Immediately coat cooked ravioli in olive oil or butter.

Top with freshly grated parmesan or another nutty cheese to serve.


Notes:

You can substitute fresh rosemary with dried. I like to run a knife over dried rosemary or crush it with a mortar and pestle, otherwise it can be a little prickly (for lack of a better word).

Instead of broiling the peaches, you can try grilling them. Cut them in half, remove the pit, and brush lightly with oil before grilling. This imparts a smokey flavor to them.

If you aren’t going to cook your ravioli right away, you can store for a day or so in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I recommend using semolina flour, corn meal, or sheets of parchment paper to keep the ravioli from sticking together.

If you plan to cook the pasta more than a day after making it or want to save a portion for later, you can freeze them (before cooking). Lay the ravioli in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for at least an hour, then move to an airtight, freezer-safe container.

If you have trouble with your pasta falling apart while cooking, you may need to brush the edges of your pasta dough with water or egg wash to help seal them. After you bring water to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add pasta. Cook until the pasta floats to the top.

Making ravioli from scratch isn’t something you should expect to perfect on your first try. It took me several tries to get the dough thickness and cooking time to my liking.

Southwestern Pierogi Ravioli with Potato, Corn and Chiles.

This recipe is courtesy of Donna Currie.

 

For the pasta:
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 whole eggs
Water, as needed (about 1 cup)

For the filling:
2 pounds baking potatoes, baked or microwaved until done
1 14.75-ounce can creamed corn
4 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
2 4-ounce cans diced Hatch chiles (mild or hot, your choice)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To make the pasta:
I made the pasta dough in my stand mixer, but you can certainly knead it by hand.

First combine the flour and salt, then add the egg and then begin mixing in the water. you want a firm dough, but not super-solid, so add as much water as you need to get to that point. If you add too much water, you can add a little more flour as you knead.

Knead by hand or with the stand mixer until the dough is elastic. Form the dough into a ball and set aside for at least 20 minutes to rest. You can also make it ahead and stash it in the refrigerator.

To make the filling:
Peel the potatoes or scoop the flesh out - whichever is easier for you.

Rice or mash the potatoes, then add the creamed corn, cream cheese, salt, chiles, and pepper. Mix well. It should be fairly smooth with just small lumps from the corn and peppers.

Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper, if desired.
 

For easiest handling, divide the dough into 4 pieces.

Roll the first two pieces on a lightly floured work surface until each is a rectangle a bit wider than 17 inches by about 15 inches. They shouldn't be paper thin, but they should be considerably thinner than a corn tortilla.

If the pasta bounced back too much as you roll it, cover it and let it rest for 10 minutes, then continue rolling.

Make sure your work surface has a light sprinkle of flour. Lay one of the pasta sheets in front of you with one of the 17-inch sides facing you. Spread half of the filling on top of the pasta, then top with the second sheet of pasta. You can stretch it to make sure it fits over the bottom sheet.

Use the Fonde ravioli pin to crate the ravioli. Trim the outside edges, then cut the ravioli apart with a pizza cutter, pasta cutter, or sharp knife. If you need tips about using the pin, check out this post.

If you're not going to cook all of the ravioli, you can place them on a baking sheet (make sure they're not touching each other) and freeze them.

Once frozen, you can put them in a plastic bag to store them in the freezer. You shouldn't thaw the pasta - just cook it from its frozen state. It takes slightly longer to cook, but not much.

To cook the pasta:
Use a wide, short sided pan with a lid. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and just enough water to barely cover the bottom of the pan - just a barely 1/8 inch is plenty. Cover the pan and heat  on high until it bubbles, then add as much pasta as will fit in a single layer with a little space between them. Cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes then remove the lid and let the pasta continue cooking until all the water has evaporated and the pasta begins to fry in the butter. If you've added the barest amount of water, it should evaporate very quickly. If the pasta seems to be swimming in water, drain some of it out - since the pasta is fresh, it cooks quickly - you don't want it to get mushy.

When the pasta has browned a little on one side (it should be spotty browned), flip it over and brown it on the second side.

Serve hot with the condiments of your choice: Salsa, guacamole, sour cream (or crema or creme fraiche) would be my choices - or a combination of two or more of them.

If you want to tone down the heat of the chiles without adding any strong flavors, a little crema does that very nicely.
 

Gluten Free Ravioli with Port-Poached Pear Filling

This recipe is courtesy of Kenan Hill. 

After getting my amazing Repast Supply Co. Fonde ravioli rolling pin (read more about that here), I decided to try my best to be an equal opportunity ravioli recipe maker. So after the basic ravioli recipe came the whole grain ravioli, and now we’re on to gluten free ravioli. I tried several blends, but Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour seemed to work best for me (note: it does not include xanthan gum in the blend).

There’s a reason why there is gluten in most baked goods: it makes things stick together. Ravioli dough needs to be very pliable, so the loss of gluten makes things a little tricky. The good news? You don’t have to let your dough rest for around an hour (which helps the gluten do it’s thing). My advice is to work quickly and gently. It’s best to have your filling ready to go before you start the pasta dough so it doesn’t dry out and get brittle. Like all pasta making, it takes a little bit of practice and a healthy dose of patience.

Even though it hasn’t cooled down here in Atlanta, I’m still loving all of the fall produce coming into season. A bin of pears at the market inspired Port poached pear sauce, which made its way into ravioli. If you’re lucky enough to still have peaches in season, you can try a honey-broiled peach + rosemaryfilling. If you want to go down a more traditional road, try a lemon-basil-ricotta filling with tomato sauce or pesto. This recipe makes 18-24 ravioli.

 
Ingredients for pasta dough:
2 c Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour
2 eggs + 1 yolk
1 Tbsp olive oil
water
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon (optional)

 
Ingredients for filling and sauce:
1/3 – 1/2 c port poached pear sauce
olive oil or butter

 
Special equipment:
regular rolling pin
ravioli rolling pin, ravioli stamp, ravioli tray, some other ravioli-making contraption, or a fork
zig-zag pasta cutter or regular pizza cutter

 
Make the pasta dough:
Start with 2 c Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour in a bowl or in a mound on your counter. (For the record, I think it’s way more fun to do it on the counter like they always do in cooking shows.) Form a well in the middle of the flour by making wide and shallow indentation.

Add 2 eggs + 1 yolk, 1 T olive oil, and 1 T water in well. Using a fork, gently whisk wet ingredients in a circular motion, gradually incorporating flour. Be careful not to break the “walls” of the well so the wet ingredients don’t spill out! Once about half of the flour is incorporated, the wet part is thick enough not to spill out.

Continue mixing with your hands until most of flour is combined into the dough. Add more water as necessary. If using a bowl, turn dough out onto a floured surface. Continue to mix until everything is combined, but dough should be a little sticky.

Proceed to making ravioli immediately.

 
Make the ravioli:
Cut dough into 2 even pieces. Flour a clean surface and roll each piece of dough into very thin, similarly sized sheets.  You should be able to see through the dough.

To form the ravioli, follow the instructions with whatever tool you’re using, or use the following outlines:

Ravioli rolling pin: Evenly spread the ricotta mixture over one sheet of pasta dough, leaving at least a 2 inch buffer area around the edges. Place the second sheet of dough on top. Roll ravioli rolling pin over dough and filling, applying firm but even pressure. Using a pasta or pizza cutter, cut individual ravioli apart.

Ravioli tray: Lay one sheet of pasta dough over the ravioli tray. Using your thumb, gently press the dough down into each indention. Spoon ricotta filling into each spot. Roll pin over tray to seal and cut ravioli.

Fork or ravioli stamp: Using a pizza or pasta cutter, cut evenly-sized squares (about 2″ x 2″ or the dimensions of your stamp) of pasta dough. Spoon a small amount of ricotta filling onto a square of dough. Cover with another square and press with stamp to seal edges, or use the tines of a fork to seal edges. Alternatively, you can place ricotta filling in the center of a square piece of dough, fold it over into a triangle and seal the edges with a stamp or fork.
If not cooking right away, see notes for instructions on storing ravioli.

 
Cook the ravioli:
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Once boiling, generously salt water and bring back to rapid boil.

Add ravioli to water and cook 3-5 minutes or until pasta rises to top of water. Cook in batches if necessary to avoid crowding.

Coat cooked ravioli with olive oil, brown butter, or your favorite sauce. Add a splash of cooking water to help bind the sauce with the pasta.

To serve, I recommend shaved chocolate if you want to go the sweet route or crumbled bleu cheese for a sweet-and-savory dish.

Cook by the Book or Taste as You Go?

Written By:  Craig Ferraro

How do you cook?  I know many people who simply follow recipes, and others who like to experiment as they go.  Which way is better?  Both methods can yield delicious dishes.  Repast Supply Co. would love to hear your thoughts on the topic.  So post a reply here, on Facebook, or Twitter.

I’ll give of my thoughts here to get the conversation started.  If someone asked me which method is superior, my answer, as any economist would tell you, is that it depends.

The first thing I would consider is what type of cooking I am doing.  Certain preparation methods lend themselves to precision and adherence to pre-existing recipes.  I love to smoke (barbecue, that is).  This type of low and slow cooking requires special attention to detail.  The salt content of the rub, the type of wood used, and the internal meat temperature, among a host of other things all require special attention.  I’ve been cooking Q for about 5 years now, and I’m just now starting to experiment.  The best resource (digital or print) available for learning to smoke is amazingribs.com.  The author of the site, appropriately dubbed Meathead, is detail-oriented, scientific, and unbelievably helpful.

The second thing I would consider when discerning whether to follow recipes or freestyle is the type of cuisine I’m cooking and my familiarity with what yields tasty dishes in this realm.  My Italian heritage necessitates that I cook sauce and meatballs.  I’m still working to perfect each.  For an old school, no frills, guide to Italian cooking check out Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. This is the most detailed, informative guide to the cuoco Italiano out there.  Just ensure you have a few hours to spend crafting these treasures!

In recent years I’ve really enjoyed learning about, and preparing Mexican food.  Growing up in Wyoming and Utah, my wife was exposed to authentic Mexican fare. She has, in turn, imparted in me an affinity for the methods made popular south of the border.  Unlike most traditional types of cooking, veggies and meats are roasted and scorched while cooking Mexican.  And it’s delicious.  I’m a novice in this arena, so I nearly always follow recipes.  For beautiful pictures and fantastic food check out Truly Mexican by JJ Santibanez.  

My final thoughts on the topic are as follows.  Follow recipes once or twice until you know what you want the dish to taste like.  Read about methodology and the why behind cooking.  Learn how different ingredients add different elements during different preparation methods.  And, of course, cook a meal for someone you love. 

Please share your thoughts on the ‘cook by the book vs. taste as you go’ discussion.  Reply here, on Facebook or Twitter.  Visit Slow.Cook.Love. often for more thoughts and discussion.

Ethnic & Regional Food Blogs

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Written By:  Craig Ferraro

We all love Food Blogs, right?  At Repast Supply Co. we seek to bring you new and interesting content from around the world.  This is the home of our food blog, Slow.Cook.Love.  Please check back often for articles, videos, and posts.

In the meantime, we thought we'd whet your appetite with some of the most delectable ethnic food blogs from the web.  So grab your cutting board and knife and start cooking!

Southern:  Kitchen 1204

Filipino: Jun-Blog

Dominican: Aunt Clara's Kitchen

Persian: Bottom of the Pot 

Cajun: Acadiana Table 

Indian: Indian Simmer 

Lebanese: Rose Water and Orange Blossoms 

British: Miss Foodwise

Barbecue: AmazingRibs.com

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Christmas in Cambria

Christmas Night. Twenty-three people spanning ages two to seventy-five have spent three days together. Some are vegetarians, and some are carnivores. And Christmas night, they are all crazy hungry.

Our dear hosts, Cory and Linda, slave for three days to entertain the family: walks on the beach, games, music gatherings, and food. Good food.  But Christmas night is different. The presents have been opened, the used wrappings are disposed of, and blissful exhaustion sweeps over the family. There is only one more event: Christmas dinner. But Cory and Linda are not allowed to lift a finger. Dinner is our gift to them for their never-ending hospitality.

This year, we have two new additions to the gathering: our soon-to-be son-in-law, Michael, and Fonde. Michael comes for Christmas with our daughter, Sophie, and brings his ravioli expertise and entertainment skills too. We have no idea what a show it will be.

Early Christmas day, Sophie and Mike begin the meat sauce. As the day commences, they concoct a butternut filling and a separate mushroom filling to satisfy the vegetarians in the group. When the time is right, Michael and Sophie make batches of pasta and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap to take a nap. The packages look like swaddled babes.

Hours later, the family gathers in the kitchen around the island, many clad in the same red “Merry Christmas, Y’all” sweatshirts, traditional garb for our family holiday.

It’s time for the show. Mike rolls up his sleeves and unwraps one bundle of dough from its blanket; he places it tenderly on the granite counter.

”Rolling pin?” he asks. Silence. The house is new and there isn’t one. No reason to panic. Mike spies an empty magnum too large for the recycle bin. He peels off the label and gives it a dust of flour. “Oos” and “Ahs” erupt as he rolls out two sheets of perfect dough as thin as paper. One awaits filling while the other rests on the side. Sophie spreads cheesy butternut on top, and Michael lays the second layer over it. He carefully pats out the air pockets and sprinkles a bit of flour on top.

The family is silent. “Are you ready?” he asks.

“Go! Go! Go!” yells the littlest in the group. The family takes up the chorus.

Michael holds the Fonde in front of him and takes a bow. Starting at the front edge, he slowly rolls the wooden pin as he presses down on the dough. Rows of perfect pockets form as he pushes forward, each pocket the same size and the same height.

Perfection. Applause fills the kitchen as he cuts them into individual pillows.

Sophie and Mike transfer the ravioli to the stove where pots of sauce steam in anticipation.  Kettles of boiling water welcome the ravioli as they sink to the bottom. Just minutes later, we watch them pop to the surface…al dente. From there they are passed to a grill for a crispy buttery cloak.

Michael unwraps another batch of dough. Some family members come forth, their fingers poking the dough, stroking the sheen on the surface. He shows them how to knead until it is smooth as silk. And then he hands them the Fonde. One by one, they knead, fill, and roll, each time coached by the master. By the end of the session, four batches of pasta dough are filled, rolled, cooked, and served to the hungry crowd, each plate adorned with individual layers of sauces, filling, and cheese.

Our family is happy. Mike and Sophie are happy and ready for whiskey.And I’m happy because now I know why my daughter wants to marry him.Perfection indeed.

“Slow down, roll up your sleeves and cook a meal with someone you love.”

Forged From Love - The Story Of Repast Supply Co

Written by Craig Ferraro. Photography courtesy of Amanda Finizio. 

Hands and arms were covered in flour, glasses were full of wine, and mouths were filled with ravioli.  The sounds of laughter and stampeding feet rang out as younger cousins ran in and out of the house on a beautiful summer day.  Aunts, uncles, parents, and grandparents put on aprons and lent a hand.  Others spent the afternoon reminiscing and catching up at this family reunion.

“We don’t see each other very often. Some cousins I had never met before,” recalled Michael Finizio.  “This was about two years ago, and it’s still something we all talk about.”

Michael helped cement these memories by teaching his family to cook ravioli from scratch.  He was in the process of creating a product that not only makes killer ravioli, but also helps bring people together, enjoy each other’s company, and conceive this type of enduring event.  Now he’s on the verge of doing it full time.  

Michael used a combination of experience, skills, inspiration, and innovation to create Fonde, the ravioli rolling pin.  The ingenious functionality and classy look made Fonde a sensation this summer on Kickstarter.  It’s now being used to launch Repast Supply Co.  

The story of how Michael got to this point illuminates a lot about the man, and a lot about his intentions in the culinary world.  What’s abundantly clear from talking with him is his passionate approach to the business, borne of personal and intimate bonds formed in the pursuit of knowledge and the pursuit of love.  

When Michael met his fiancee, Sophie, a few years ago, they were living in different cities.  “We wanted to spend as much time interacting as possible,” he remembers. “Instead of going to restaurants we found ourselves cooking.  It’s kind of the foundation of our relationship.”  These nights spent together allowed Michael one other important insight, “Sophie is a much better cook than I am.”  I won’t worry about these two eating well in their life together, and I would suggest the humility shown here will come in handy throughout their marriage.

Whether at family reunion or cooking in a small urban apartment, food and cooking helps bring Michael together with people he loves.  “That type of moment is something I try to recreate as much as possible,” he stresses. With the launch of Repast, he not only seeks these moments in his own life, but also strives to help others find bliss in the kitchen.  

Michael envisions a family using Fonde to cook together.  He sees parents and children doubling their time together by creating pasta from eggs and flour.  From experience, he points out that the meal they create will be truly meaningful.  Perhaps more so than the store-bought rigatoni and marinara sauce most of us resort to on a regular basis.  This time spent cooking together also helps instill a love and appreciation for food and its preparation in the younger participants.

Repast’s mission is to “inspire people everywhere to slow down, roll up their sleeves, and cook a meal with someone you love.”  I asked Michael about this notion within the context of the fast-paced world we all inhabit in the twenty-first century.  I think he views these times spent together as an antidote to our typically hurried lives.  Family, friends, and food are universal.  People have found joy combining these three for centuries.  Plus, as Michael points out, “If you’re hands are covered in dough, you’re not getting distracted and picking up a cell phone.”

With a background in engineering and summers spent as a carpenter, Michael views the world through a creator’s lens.  While first experimenting with pasta making, he encountered a problem. Ravioli was difficult to make.  By hand it’s somewhat labor intensive. The existing ravioli rollers on the market didn’t meet his standards.  They were cheaply made and didn’t provide enough room for fillings.  

An engineer sees a problem and discerns a solution.  Michael set out to create a product that makes great ravioli efficiently, made of high quality materials.  His experience with carpentry and woodworking gave him the knowledge necessary to choose his medium.  Maple, cherry, and walnut have ideal properties for this type of production.  The artisan began crafting prototypes and trial rollers.   He turned sketches on paper into wooden devices.

Michael began enjoying ravioli in his kitchen and loved the results.  The pockets were deep, with plenty of room for ricotta, scallions, lemon zest, or whatever else his pallet desired.  There was plenty of room between the pockets for easy cutting.  The ravioli were delicious and their delectable beauty was made possible by the precision of Michael’s design.  

Quickly he turned his attention to sharing this gift with others.  Recalling how the market lacked any comparable products, Michael saw Fonde as a launch point for a line of culinary products. He needed help in order to do this.  He sought out an expert to produce more rollers.  

He initially worked with a manufacturer in North Carolina.  While he helped create excellent products, Michael thought it could be done more efficiently.  “That’s where the engineering problem-solving really came into play, ” he remembers.  “How can I slim it down, make it faster to produce?”  He observed the process, used his reasoning skills, and a touch of business acumen to alter the process.

Michael now works with a manufacturer from St. Paul, Minnesota.  Brent Greer of BBG Woodworks was interested in partnering full-time.  They worked together to incorporate new machinery and cut down production time by 75%.  Currently Greer is able to produce 8-10 rolling pins per day.  

After a summer launch on Kickstarter, Michael faces soaring demand for Fonde and increased interest in a wider range of Repast Supply Co. products.  He is ramping up production in St. Paul while in negotiations with a major retailer.  Michael recently appeared on tapings for the upcoming Food Network show, “Food Fortunes.”  He demonstrated his cooking process and pitched Fonde to a team of chefs and investors.  

Amidst all of this success it might be easy for a young entrepreneur like Michael to have lofty visions of fame and dollar signs.  But I can assure you that he has his feet planted firmly in the ground.  He states that food, engineering, and woodworking are his life’s biggest passions.  It’s clear that Michael is also passionate about creating a sustainable and ethical business.  He’s partnered with the Arbor Day foundation to plant 100 trees for every tree he uses in production.

Friends asked him, “How can you afford to do that?” to which he countered, “How can I afford not to do that?”  This year the planting is taking place in Minnesota, helping Michael contribute to the local community.  He’s committed to keeping things local by manufacturing solely in the United States.  

Michael’s altruistic ideals don’t temper his ambition.  “I set out to create a brand of fine products. I want to create a brand where people want all of my products,” he declares.  Beyond Fonde, he has end-grain cutting board available currently, while also cooking up ideas for knives and aprons.  

This story tells of an engineer.  It details the tale of a budding businessman.  But I think Michael Finizio created Repast Supply Co. because he’s a future husband.  He made these products because he’s a son, a nephew, and a cousin.  Yes he’s creating rolling pins, but he’s also allowing families to forge cherished memories.  What could be more beautiful than that?

About the Author: Craig Ferraro is a Carlisle, MA native who is passionate about teaching, BBQ and spending time at his lake house in New Hampshire. In his free time Craig is a contributing author to The Sports Hero and Slow.Cook.Love. 

Gluten-Free Pasta & Ravioli Dough

This post is an excerpt from Kitchen1204.com, written by Kenan Hill. 

Full recipe can be viewed here: http://kitchen1204.com/fall/gluten-free-ravioli-port-poached-pear-filling/

There’s a reason why there is gluten in most baked goods: it makes things stick together. Ravioli dough needs to be very pliable, so the loss of gluten makes things a little tricky. The good news? You don’t have to let your dough rest for around an hour (which helps the gluten do it’s thing). My advice is to work quickly and gently. It’s best to have your filling ready to go before you start the pasta dough so it doesn’t dry out and get brittle. Like all pasta making, it takes a little bit of practice and a healthy dose of patience.

Ingredients for pasta dough:
2 c Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour
2 eggs + 1 yolk
1 Tbsp olive oil
water
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon (optional)

 
Ingredients for filling and sauce:
1/3 – 1/2 c port poached pear sauce
olive oil or butter

 
Special equipment:
regular rolling pin
ravioli rolling pin, ravioli stamp, ravioli tray, some other ravioli-making contraption, or a fork
zig-zag pasta cutter or regular pizza cutter

 
Make the pasta dough:
Start with 2 c Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour in a bowl or in a mound on your counter. (For the record, I think it’s way more fun to do it on the counter like they always do in cooking shows.) Form a well in the middle of the flour by making wide and shallow indentation.

Add 2 eggs + 1 yolk, 1 T olive oil, and 1 T water in well. Using a fork, gently whisk wet ingredients in a circular motion, gradually incorporating flour. Be careful not to break the “walls” of the well so the wet ingredients don’t spill out! Once about half of the flour is incorporated, the wet part is thick enough not to spill out.

Continue mixing with your hands until most of flour is combined into the dough. Add more water as necessary. If using a bowl, turn dough out onto a floured surface. Continue to mix until everything is combined, but dough should be a little sticky.

Proceed to making ravioli immediately.

 
Make the ravioli:
Cut dough into 2 even pieces. Flour a clean surface and roll each piece of dough into very thin, similarly sized sheets.  You should be able to see through the dough.

To form the ravioli, follow the instructions with whatever tool you’re using, or use the following outlines:

Ravioli rolling pin: Evenly spread the ricotta mixture over one sheet of pasta dough, leaving at least a 2 inch buffer area around the edges. Place the second sheet of dough on top. Roll ravioli rolling pin over dough and filling, applying firm but even pressure. Using a pasta or pizza cutter, cut individual ravioli apart.

Ravioli tray: Lay one sheet of pasta dough over the ravioli tray. Using your thumb, gently press the dough down into each indention. Spoon ricotta filling into each spot. Roll pin over tray to seal and cut ravioli.

Fork or ravioli stamp: Using a pizza or pasta cutter, cut evenly-sized squares (about 2″ x 2″ or the dimensions of your stamp) of pasta dough. Spoon a small amount of ricotta filling onto a square of dough. Cover with another square and press with stamp to seal edges, or use the tines of a fork to seal edges. Alternatively, you can place ricotta filling in the center of a square piece of dough, fold it over into a triangle and seal the edges with a stamp or fork.
If not cooking right away, see notes for instructions on storing ravioli.

 
Cook the ravioli:
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Once boiling, generously salt water and bring back to rapid boil.

Add ravioli to water and cook 3-5 minutes or until pasta rises to top of water. Cook in batches if necessary to avoid crowding.

Coat cooked ravioli with olive oil, brown butter, or your favorite sauce. Add a splash of cooking water to help bind the sauce with the pasta.

To serve, I recommend shaved chocolate if you want to go the sweet route or crumbled bleu cheese for a sweet-and-savory dish.

 

 

Why You Need an End-Grain Cutting Board

The most important tools in your kitchen are a good chef’s knife and the skills to use it. The next is an end-grain cutting board, and here are five reasons why:

1) They are works of art. I mean seriously just look at these things. 

2) You get what you pay for. End-grain boards are not cheap, a good one will run you well over $200. With proper care however your grandkids will be using it 100 years from now. End-grain boards require routine maintenance. They need to be cleaned and oiled regularly to protect against bacteria. The oil acts as a sealant preventing anything bad from seeping into the wood. It’s very important to use mineral oil because it won’t go rancid and it isn’t toxic. Olive oil or any other plant-based product will eventually spoil and start to smell.

3) Your knives will stay sharper longer. If there’s any reason to own an end-Grain cutting board, this is it. When cutting on an edge-grain cutting board, the knife is effectively trying to saw the fibers in half; the sharp point of the blade will quickly become rounded and dull. Because the wood fibers stand upright on an end-grain board, the blade is able to slip in between the vertical wood fibers, protecting the cutting edge and not cutting the wood fibers. This is the exact same concept as splitting a log with an axe. On your end-grain cutting board, the vertical fibers will naturally return to their starting position, sparing the cutting surface. 

4) You will cook more. If you’ve invested the money to buy a high quality board chances are you’re getting serious about cooking. In my house the cutting board is a permanent fixture on the counter. Not only does the thing just look great but it’s heavy. Both factors lead to it pretty much living on my countertop. Since it’s always out I find myself using it ALL the time. Plus if you cook more, chances are you’re going to be eating healthier too. Think about it, you don’t need a chef’s knife or cutting board for a frozen dinner...

5) Your knife skills will get better. In my opinion you can never be too skilled with a chef’s knife. Whether you’re chopping onions or slicing a good cut of meat, uniformity is important because differently sized pieces cook at different rates. Having the skill and dexterity to efficiently do your chopping will make your cooking experience much more enjoyable.

So buy yourself an end-grain board, sharpen your knife skills and throw away your avocado slicer. You’ll thank me for it, I promise. 

Meat Ravioli Fillings with Fonde

Sophie and I have been getting a lot of questions about meat ravioli fillings. The answer is YES! You can absolutely use ground meat fillings. We did a test the other day and here are the results:

                                                          We made a filling out of ground chicken sausage, ricotta, garlic, green onions and an egg. 

                                                          We made a filling out of ground chicken sausage, ricotta, garlic, green onions and an egg. 

                                                               On the left is coarse ground, the right is the batch we ran through the food processor.

                                                               On the left is coarse ground, the right is the batch we ran through the food processor.

                  Coarse ground meat filling, you can see some lumps in the border section. These still cooked perfectly and did not break in the water.

                  Coarse ground meat filling, you can see some lumps in the border section. These still cooked perfectly and did not break in the water.

                              Finely ground meat filling: The meat did a better job of staying in the pockets. (Sophie got a little excited while cutting them).

                              Finely ground meat filling: The meat did a better job of staying in the pockets. (Sophie got a little excited while cutting them).

So in summary, both meat fillings work really well. It basically just comes down to your personal preference. Do you like a more rustic look? Go with a coarse grind. Are you going for a cleaner, more restaurant quality look? Give it a quick pulse in the food processor. Either way, you can't lose!

How To Make Perfect Ravioli By Hand

Fresh ravioli can go right into boiling water for 2 minutes. If you want to freeze your ravioli for later, flash freeze on a baking sheet for ~45 min, then they can go into a bag or tupperware.

Start with your flour, eggs, water and oil. On the counter or in a bowl. 

Start with your flour, eggs, water and oil. On the counter or in a bowl. 

Mix to incorporate.

Mix to incorporate.

Knead the dough with force, for ~ 5 minutes. 

Knead the dough with force, for ~ 5 minutes. 

Split your ball of dough in half and roll out each. 

Split your ball of dough in half and roll out each. 

The sheets need to be thin, you should be able to see through them. 

The sheets need to be thin, you should be able to see through them. 

Spread your filling making sure to leave 1/4 of the dough uncovered. 

Spread your filling making sure to leave 1/4 of the dough uncovered. 

Sandwich the filling. 

Sandwich the filling. 

Make sure to press out all the air pockets. 

Make sure to press out all the air pockets. 

Slowly roll over with the Fonde Ravioli Rolling Pin using solid downward force. 

Slowly roll over with the Fonde Ravioli Rolling Pin using solid downward force. 

Cut and cook your fresh ravioli for 2-3 minutes in boiling water. Garnish, and enjoy! 

Cut and cook your fresh ravioli for 2-3 minutes in boiling water. Garnish, and enjoy! 

Perfect Ravioli Dough Recipe

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2-3 oz. water
  • 2-3 tsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)
  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl
  2. Beat the eggs in a smaller bowl, add to the flour along with the water and olive oil
  3. Note about water: 2-3 oz. is just a guideline, you may need more. You'll know when you've added too much because the dough will get REALLY sticky. If this happens just add some more flour, no big deal
  4. Stir everything together with a fork until it comes together, there will still be some loose chunks which is fine
  5. Dump the dough out onto your clean, floured countertop and start kneading
  6. Keep kneading
  7. Keep kneading
  8. The dough is ready when it's soft and bounces back slowly. 1-2 min of good solid kneading.