Ravs in the making…These actually look pretty good, and by the end, the dough was pliable,

Ravs in the making…These actually look pretty good, and by the end, the dough was pliable, and I had the hang of stuffing, egg-white sealing, and crimping. It was meditative really, although the loons were racing around in the background. I set a timer and told them they had to play until it beeped. Pretty much every 2 minutes, Jack asked “did it beep yet?” I’m thinking, “buddy, did you hear it? is this not a question to which you already know the answer?” (we are trying to enforce the rule of no asking questions you already know the answer to). Anyway, they did OK, and Tom, husband of the year, came home early and did bathtime so I finished the ravs successfully.

In the meantime, I opened the bottle of Viognier- but did wait until 6p ;)- and pondered a couple kitchen lessons that I wish to share:

1) Be willing to improvise and have fun. The pasta machine really could have thrown me, and as I read further, I saw the note to use a “quite mild goat cheese.” Hah! I bought the assertive, not mild stuff: Bûcheron. Do you know it? It’s an aged goat cheese from France and is awesome.

2) Think creatively. I do not have a pastry or ravioli press and actually don’t even have a round cookie cutter. So, guess what came in handy? The Born Free sippy cup top cover. That’s what I cut my ravs out with and they look lovely.

When I saw this recipe, I was immediately transported back to Florence, Italy, 2007. Jack, then 15 months, and I went for three weeks (Tom joined us for 2), and rented an apartment near my sister, Elia. I had studied Italian during my pregnancy so could get us around fairly well, and we became regulars in the pasticcerias, panificios and markets in our neighborhood. The St Ambrogio market was like the ultimate farmers market: it reeked of authenticity; generations-old traditions and recipes; effusive, kind, totally unpretentious Italian craftsmen/women; and gorgeous, fresh produce, meats, cheeses, breads, flowers, herbs and on and on. It was incredible, and Jack and I went regularly. He loved the polpettini (little meatballs) and I discovered ravioli di limone. They were ethereal little pillows of lemony, ricotta’y air. I asked how to prepare them and was told a simple lemon butter sauce was all I needed. Mamma mia- it was beyond.

So tonight is my ode to the St. Ambrogio lemon ravioli, that trip to Florence and my sister and Michele.