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Sunday, March 4, 2012

For The Love of Ravioli

 Guest Post by Chris Manganaro

Ravioli has been around since at least the 14th century, most likely even longer. Different foods have been made similarly, making ravioli seem like a variation. In this way, Italian ravioli meets Polish pierogi meets Chinese dumpling and so on and so forth. All interconnected in a shell of dough.
    In the case of ravioli, it takes quite a bit of time and effort to prepare it fresh. In Laura Schenone’s book The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken we are shown in intricate detail just how hard it can be to prepare fresh ravioli. The word authentic could be used but it seems as if authenticity is hard to determine. This is another thing the book teaches us along with the interconnectivity of it all.
    Within the book is, of course, a recipe for ravioli. Several actually. There are step-by-step instructions with pictures in order to help readers along. Throughout the book, the reader hears about making ravioli and how several different people approach it. It makes one want to get their hands dirty and try it out. The beauty of the book is the fact that, as Schenone learns throughout the book, there are many different ways to prepare delicious ravioli.
    There are also tools described in the memoir that are brought up in the back of the book. Some are very specific and may not be found in every household which makes fresh ravioli seem even farther out of reach for some.
    Despite what might be holding back some people from trying to make fresh ravioli, Schenone’s book is a good tool for getting started on the right track. Not all the tools that are mentioned in the recipe section are necessary. There isn’t only one way of doing it. As she mentions, one can use a rolling pin or pasta maker. It all just comes down to practicing and perfecting. This is all a part of cooking. The book does a good job of making this all sound worth it. If someone is truly interested in making or trying fresh ravioli then there is no reason not to at least try using Schenone’s book to start. You never know how something will go until you try after all. That’s how this book was made when it comes down to it, trying something new.
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