Good things come to those who make ravioli

It stinks and it is mouldy: if I use these words to describe food, you definitely wouldn’t be so keen on eating it. However, I can’t find any other way to describe Gorgonzola cheese, one of my favourite ingredients in pasta or pizza.

It is believed that Gorgonzola is the result of a mistake (a beautiful mistake, may I say) made by a shepherd that one day started putting together the ingredients to make crescenza cheese; then he realised that he didn’t bring all the equipment with him and decided to leave the mixture in a tray overnight. The day after, he added some warm rennet made on that same morning, to the cold mixture he left overnight: the difference in temperature made the air flow in the gaps within the cheese and consequently the spreading of the bacteria, that after a few days turned into a blue/green mouldy marbling.

It is not clear when Gorgonzola was born, some people believe it was around 879, but it is only in 1860 that this cheese was produced in the modern way, ageing in cold rooms. The ingredients and the process are a little bit more sophisticated in our days: cow’s milk is mixed to starter bacteria and spores of the mould Penicillium glaucum. Then the cheese is left in cold rooms for the ageing process, during which metal rods are quickly inserted and removed, creating air channels that allow the mould spores to grow and create the typical marbling.

Fun fact: I used to be a very fussy eater when I was a kid. To convince me to try it, my mum told me that the green bits in gorgonzola were spinach. She then forgot about this lie and I moved on with my life enjoying my gorgonzola, only to find out the truth when I was 17 years old!! Please lie responsibly.

Curiosity: Winston Churchill used to love Gorgonzola cheese, and he asked that all charts used by the RAF had highlighted the area where gorgonzola is produced, so that they wouldn’t bomb it.

Gorgonzola has a very strong and distinctive flavour, so I usually pair it with delicate or sweet accompaniment: courgettes, honey, figs, nuts, mushrooms…I can go on for days.

But my favourite combination is with pears: the sweetness of the fruit goes perfectly with the sharpness of the cheese, and at the same time it enhances its saltiness and acidity. Masterchef talking here.

So I made this lovely ravioli with pear, gorgonzola and walnuts – they give that little touch of crunchiness we need! The pasta dough is made the traditional way, I know stuffed pasta needs eggs but I believe in “cucina povera” (the kitchen of the frugal cooking), where people couldn’t afford eggs and used the simplest ingredients available, in this case flour and water.

Ingredients for 2 people:

Pasta

-150g semolina flour

-75ml water

-pinch of salt

Filling

-pear, 1

-gorgonzola, 75g

-butter, a teaspoon

-chopped walnuts, 10g

Sauce

Just 3 tablespoons of butter and some chopped walnuts to decorate

Steps:

  1. Mix together the water, semolina and salt
  2. Knead for 10 minutes until you have a smooth texture
  3. Cover the dough in clingfilm and leave it for 30 minutes
  4. In the meantime, peel the pear and chop it finely
  5. Melt the teaspoon of butter in a pan
  6. Add the pear and cook for 10/15 minutes until tender, stirring all the time
  7. Leave it to cool
  8. Add the gorgonzola and the walnuts to the pears and mix well until everything is evenly distributed
  9. Remove the cling film, and using a rolling pin or a pasta machine flatten the dough until 2/3 mm wide
  10. Take a glass or an espresso mug, depending how large you want your ravioli, and cut as many discs as you can. Remember that one disc (the base) will contain the filling and the other one will be its “hat”, so divide them by two and put the hats away
  11. Put a tablespoon of the filling on each base
  12. Put your finger in water and then around the edges of the disc
  13. Put your finger in water and then around the edges of the hat
  14. Put the hat on top of the base, and press the edges. While doing so, press gently the hat around the filling, to make sure you are getting rid of all the air
  15. Press the edges and make sure there are no holes around your raviolo
  16. Boil water and add salt
  17. Cook the ravioli for 2/3 minutes
  18. Put 3 tablespoon of butter in a plate
  19. Drain the ravioli and put them in the plate, on the butter
  20. Leave it to melt for one minute and stir so that butter covers all ravioli
  21. Top with the crushed walnuts

Are you asking yourself what are the good things that come to those who make ravioli? The answer, my friend, is that they eat the ravioli 🙂

#baking #cooking #food Pasta ravioli

47 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Ha! The birth of Gorgonzola. And what inspired the Shepard as he looked upon his mistake to take it up in his hands, waft away the stench, and pop it into his mouth? The raviolis look amazing, by the way.

    Like

  2. I am practically drowning . . . my mouth is watering. I love Gorgonzola cheese! And, YES! It pears great with pears (see what I did?)! This is a yummy way to serve it all together. I’ve had Gorgonzola cheese ravioli with pears and walnuts on top, but I don’t think I have had it all IN the pasta. (Drool!)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: