Eating together as a family is more important today than in the past because there are more competing distractions, more choices of activities outside the home, and a constant bombardment of information from modern technology. Even when everyone is home, individuals do their own thing. Perhaps the only opportunity of the day to talk with each other is at the dinner table. Being together daily at the table is an important chance to celebrate being a family: by staying in touch, learning about family culture, food, and practicing the social skills of dining and conversation. Family meals are for nourishment, comfort and support. And, food is better eaten with the people we love.
Everyone loves Italian food and this will bring the family together around the dinner table. You can start by making ravioli as it is quite simple.
- 6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1-1/2 cups tomato puree
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Dutch Oven
- Wooden Spoon
- Place 6 cups flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Beat the eggs, water and oil; pour into well. Stir together, forming a ball. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes, adding remaining flour if necessary to keep dough from sticking. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, combine the sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- In a large bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Divide pasta dough into fourths; using the sheeter, roll one portion to 1/16-in. thickness. (Keep pasta covered until ready to use.) Working quickly, place rounded teaspoonfuls of filling 1 in. apart over half of pasta sheet. Brush around filling with water to moisten. Fold sheet over; press down to seal. Cut into squares with a pastry wheel. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Bring a soup kettle of salted water to a boil. Add ravioli. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer; cook for 1-2 minutes or until ravioli float to the top and are tender. Drain. Spoon sauce over ravioli. Yield: 6 servings.
If you don’t own a dough-sheeter you can always get yourself one from Cats Cat based in the east of Johannesburg.