I am truly appreciating how wonderful it is to grow your own food. Take these Yellow Stuffer heirloom tomatoes. I know I've mentioned them before (okay...probably lots of times before), but they are just so wonderful!
My husband has learned to cook, and does a great job! However, he rarely has the time. I was very excited when he decided to make an Italian feast based around our tomatoes.
You see... a coworker of my husband's has been buying lots of our Yellow Stuffer tomatoes and telling of the wonderful things she is making with them. I also have a great friend who has been doing some great cooking with them as well! It's hard not to share their enthusiasm.
Now that the garden is slowing down, he took some time and made a feast. First, he put the yellow stuffers into muffin tins (thanks to the Aloha Knitter for this idea). Then, he stuffed them with the leftover ravioli mixture (ricotta cheese, Italian sausage, and leftover Italian-seasoned grilled zucchini) and topped it all with a layer of specialty cheese.
Baked at 350 for about 30 minutes, and here is what he pulled out!
(You could probably make this with regular tomatoes. Just be sure to scoop the insides out, leaving a hollow cavity.)
These were so delicious I almost cried. But even better was his homemade ravioli. This is the first time he's made ravioli. He's been making homemade pasta for about a year and has become really good at it.
He made sheets of whole wheat pasta and placed spoonfuls of the ricotta/sausage mixture every few inches. Then closed the edges of these huge ravioli. I boiled them for just a few minutes (fresh pasta doesn't need to cook long), drained the pasta & added it back to the pot, then poured a jar of sauce into the pan.
We served it with a jar of my canned pasta sauce. Yes, it's a deep orange color! All of my canned tomato recipes this season are a pretty deep orange/ light red. I combined all of my tomatoes when canning! Yellow, orange, and red.
This was the most delicious ravioli I've ever had. Ever.
And it came from my kitchen. And our garden. I'm amazed.
What a journey this past year this has been!
The ravioli recipe has been requested. We use the same basic recipe for all of our pasta:
Basic Homemade Pasta
2 cups flour (preferably a higher gluten whole wheat or a mixture of whole wheat & white)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, well beaten
2 TB warm water
Mix together the flour, salt, and eggs. Slowly add the water. Keep mixing (we use a mixer) until all the dough has come together. Add a bit more water if needed. The dough should all stick together and be just slightly sticky. If it's very sticky add more flour.
Now just roll out the pasta. You can do this by hand with a rolling pin on a floured surface. When the dough is thin enough (the thickness is up to you), just use a pizza cutter to cut it into whatever shape of noodle you'd prefer.
(We now have a pasta attachment on our kitchenaide mixer which rolls it out and cuts it as well. I bought a pasta drying rack this spring on Amazon.com and this was a good purchase as well.)
Cook in boiling water. Fresh pasta only needs to cook for a couple of minutes. When it floats to the top and looks done, it probably is. Drain & serve with your choice of sauce.
Now, for the ravioli. We didn't use a recipe for the stuffing. My husband simply browned some Italian Sausage and then stirred some ricotta cheese into the mixture. That was it. When the pasta was rolled out into sheets, he layed the sheets on a cutting board. He put a teaspoon of the mixture every 6 inches or so. Then he used a pizza cutter to cut rectangles around where the pasta filling was. After cutting, he simply folded one half of the rectangle over the other. We then sealed the edges with our fingers (pushing the dough together to make a tight seal around the filling) and used a fork to crimp the edges for a nice look.